News

Status of the Continued Assistance Act

As I shared in the past, there are many components to the new federal legislation. Here is a quick progress report on the existing and/or new programs:

  • PUA – benefits for those who typically do not qualify for unemployment
    • Weeks expanded from 39 to 50 – DONE
    • Eligibility extended to March 13th for new claims with an April 10th phaseout for those with benefits still available – DONE
    • PUA Overpayment waivers deployed – IN DESIGN
    • New wage verification requirements for minimum weekly benefits deployed – IN DESIGN
  • FPUC – additional $300 per week benefit enhancement for all unemployment benefit recipients
    • Additional funds rolled out – ON TRACK FOR JAN 15
  • PEUC – extended weeks for UI recipients
    • Weeks expanded from 13 to 24 weeks – IN DESIGN
    • Eligibility extended to March 13th for new claims with an April 10th phaseout for those with benefits still available – DONE
    • Interaction with PUA – IN DESIGN
    • Interaction with EB – IN DESIGN
  • MEUC – Additional funds for those who have non-covered additional income
    • Additional funds rolled out – IN DESIGN

Fundamentally, the UIAC has been a core partner in our efforts and, as we rollout these new provisions, will continue to be a key sounding board and stakeholder.

Benefits Data Dashboard Highlights

Due to the launch of the new federal stimulus and the changes to the systems, some claimant and processing data needs to be adjusted. We will update the dashboard again once we can ensure data is a true reflection of claimants’ experience. Thank you for your patience as we roll out these new federal benefits.

Our dashboard is updated weekly, on Thursday, in conjunction with the weekly UI numbers. The full dashboard can be found here.

  • $13.4 billion has been delivered through this crisis to 1,095,912 individuals

Weekly Numbers

Thursday, we announced our weekly unemployment numbers. You can find the full press release here. Highlights include:

  • During the week of December 27-January 2, there were 29,651 initial regular unemployment claims (up 54.5 percent from the prior week).
  • 557,419 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (up 12.1 percent from the prior week)
  • ESD paid out over $182.7 million for 316,175 individual claims

Trust Fund Balance: $1.8 B

Economic Recovery Dashboard

Check back often for newly released information

Inslee announces additional COVID-19 financial support

November 20, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor was joined by Lisa Brown, Department of Commerce director, for the announcement. 

“We know this pandemic is taking an economic toll,” Inslee said during a press conference Friday. “On Sunday we announced $50 million in business supports, but after more discussions with legislators and our agencies, we’ve agreed on how to more than double that.”

In addition to funds announced on Sunday, the total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Included in that total is:

  • $70 million in business support grants. 
  • $30 million for the recovery loan program.
  • $20 million for rental assistance.
  • $15 million for energy bills for low-income households. 

Included in the $70 million in business support grants is $50 million for a new round of Working Washington grants focused on the hardest-hit industries. Remaining funds will go toward historically disadvantaged businesses who applied for earlier business grants and bolstering Commerce’s business resiliency network.

“We know this is hard on these small businesses, and we know that this will not fully solve the burden so many business owners are shouldering,” Brown said. “But it will help get some of them get through a difficult period. We are going to keep working with legislators, congress and other partners on securing additional support.”

The grants will be allocated first to businesses most impacted by both COVID-19 and the most recent measures taken to address public safety. Equity will also be a priority in making allocation decisions. In addition to the new funds, there will also be separate business support programs coming from local governments.  

“This is a significant relief effort,” Inslee said. “I can’t say it’s going to help everyone, but I can say we are not done yet collaborating with our partners to find more funds.” 

Story found here

Inslee announces cap on third-party delivery fees to help restaurants

November 19, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a new cap on fees charged to restaurants by third-party delivery platforms, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and others. 

“We recognize the challenges posed by COVID-19 to our restaurant community, and we’re grateful to third party delivery platforms that have made it possible for Washingtonians to continue supporting local restaurants, and allowed many businesses to stay open,” Inslee said.

“However, these are difficult times. We all must sacrifice during these uniquely challenging times to both support our businesses and slow the spread of COVID-19. We encourage Washingtonians to support their local restaurants safely through delivery and take-out options that are available.”

The proclamation caps delivery fees at 15% and total fees at 18% of the purchase price of an order. Third party delivery platforms have seen increased usage as fewer people are dining indoors this year due to health restrictions and concerns over contracting COVID-19.

The proclamation is similar to measures taken in several cities around Washington. It takes effect Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 12:01 a.m.

Read the full proclamation here.

Story found here

Watch the National ABC News Story:

Clallam County has voted for every presidential winner since 1980. Nineteen counties out of the country’s 3000 counties had that record until this year. The other 18 voted for Trump. Now we are the only county with the perfect voting record.
We are “the county with the country’s pulse.”
We collaborate in a peaceful way and work together – what an example for the other Washington and the rest of the US. It makes us at your EDC proud to be a part of this community.
See the video Click Here

Broadband Test and Survey

Please take the following broadband test and survey from your business and home computer. We also highly encourage you to share the link with anyone in the county who lives or works here. The more data we have, the better!

Scroll to the middle of the following website page to take the Speed Test.
https://www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-statewide-broadband-office/

Don’t worry about the filling out the survey.

Department of Commerce has a map that shows the results. You can zoom in to any area of the state.
https://wacommerce.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/35d4610ce42f40c3ac3513a78e3a8e9d

Thank you for helping us to understand broadband speeds in Clallam County!

Unemployment Fraud

The Washington State Attorney General has issued recent warnings on scammers looking to capitalize on COVID-19 instability.

Unfortunately here at the City a number of staff have been identified as victims of unemployment fraud. Please pay special attention to your mail and email at work and at home. Often these targeted scams will send something that is easy to overlook. Other agencies have reported employees receiving what look like legitimate ESD benefit claimant letters in the mail. If you receive a fraudulent claim, do not respond or provide any personal information. Instead follow the recommended steps below.

If someone has made an unemployment claim in your name following these five Steps to Protect Your Financial Identity & Credit History

Step One – Notify your employer

Step Two – Contact WA State ESD

Either you or your employer needs to contact ESD.

If YOU are reporting the a fraudulent claim made in your name, email ESDGPInternalFraud@ESD.WA.GOV to report it.

Information to include in your email:

  • Your full name
  • Last 4 numbers of your Social Security number (never put your full SSN in an email)
  • Your address
  • Your date of birth
  • Brief description of how you found out an impostor-fraud claim was filed using your information

Please let ESD know: If an impostor-fraud claim was filed using your information, do you give us permission to deny and cancel it?

If your Employer is reporting the fraud on behalf of an employee:

Download the Benefit Fraud Employer Reporting Template

Enter the requested information for the affected employees

Email the completed template to ESDGPInternalFraud@ESD.WA.GOV

Step Three – The Three Major Credit Bureaus

Obtain your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at http://www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228

b. Report to the credit bureaus that the fraudulent claim was made using your identity. You can have a fraud alert put on your identity or freeze your credit. A fraud alert is free and will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.

Experian 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

Equifax 1-888-766-0008

c. Check your credit activity at least once a year. As a victim of identity-theft you have the right to check it monthly if you choose.

d. Credit Freeze – If you do not have upcoming large purchases, such as a home, you may want to freeze your credit for more protection. It is free and you can do it yourself. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs

Step Four – FTC & IRS

a. File a short report with the FTC and consider contacting your local police department to file a non-emergency police report. Give the FTC the case number for your local police report https://www.identitytheft.gov/ (good info at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft)

b. Consider setting up an IRS account at https://www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account. If you create an account with your social-security number it will prevent criminals from creating an account using your identity.

c. Another option is to lock your social-security number at https://www.e-verify.gov/employees (The next wave of this cyber-attack may be IRS tax fraud.)

d. All of this reporting seems redundant, but we want to make sure you are recognized as a victim by the local, state, and federal government. Also, the more people who report it, the more support Law Enforcement agents will get to pursue the perpetrators.

Step Five – Keep Notes

Hang on to any notes, copies of emails, etc. This is the paper trail that you can reference if you face any identity issues or locate inaccuracies on your credit history sometime in the future.

Protecting Your Data and Identity in the Future

Below are some steps and resources that the cyber-crime detectives recommend for anyone wanting additional protections for themselves and their families.

Control Your Own Information

Services that lock credit information can help, though you must provide companies with your own personal data, potentially creating more risk.

There are many sites that will walk you through securing your own data. You can google “how to do opt-outs and credit freeze” or use some of the third-party resources below. These are not associated with the City, but they are trusted resources that other victims have used successfully.

https://Inteltechniques.com/links.html The workbook linked on the right side of the page will walk you through a credit freeze and removing your data from data brokers and “stalker sites”. The “Privacy Checklist” is a printable guide for securing devices, accounts, and personal data. You don’t need to buy anything on this page, we just want to make use of their free guides.

https://ssd.eff.org/en The Electronic Frontier Foundation has several guides for privacy and security.

Most attackers use data obtained from previous internet breaches of hotel chains, entertainment services, and other widely-used digital productivity tools. That is why it is important to never use the same password twice. Get a password manager and use Multi-factor authentication: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-password-managers/

Use Multi-Factor Authentication (a secondary security code) on your most important accounts: https://authy.com/guides/

Most importantly, be vigilant and watch out for phishing emails, phishing fraud calls, and even things like mail/package theft, which can lead to your identity being compromised. Be wary of free apps/offers, which could be mining your data.

The EDC’s of the North Olympic Peninsula

Small Businesses in Clallam and Jefferson Counties Awarded Working Washington Emergency Grants

June 10, 2020

The EDCs of the North Olympic Peninsula, Clallam County EDC and EDC Team Jefferson are working with (48+__) local small businesses to receive Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants.  The Washington State Department of Commerce funded and administered the Governor’s strategic reserve funds for the relief program.   

Each EDC serves as their county’s designated Associate Development Organization (ADO) and will deploy the funding allocated to their counties by the Department of Commerce. The 48 businesses in Clallam County businesses will receive $177,193 and the __ businesses in Jefferson County will receive $154,XXX in total.  The (48+__) businesses that were selected all had fewer than 10 full time employees and can use the funds to offset some costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The WWSBEG program total for the state was $10 million.

“Each of these businesses have faced unique challenges over the last three months,” said Brian Kuh, EDC Team Jefferson Executive Director. “We are proud to disseminate these needed funds to small businesses to safely reopen and thank Commerce for the relief.”

“Small businesses are job generators, product and service providers and they provide the unique character of our downtown and neighborhood commercial districts,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “While we know there is much more to do, these Working Washington grants are designed to support them during this challenging time on the road to recovery.”

Colleen McAleer, the Clallam County EDC Executive Director said “We would like to thank the Governor and Department of Commerce for working closely with the EDCs to fund these small businesses. As our region works to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, getting financial support for our small businesses is critical to economic recovery.”

The two EDCs received (620+__) applications from Clallam and Jefferson County businesses.  Each EDC then formed committees whose members were selected by their local cities and chambers. Those committees screened the applications before forwarding applications to Commerce for final award decisioning. The EDCs will manage the grant contracts with each awarded business. The contract period for the grant runs for one year with job retention reporting required by the grant recipients at the end of the period.

The selected pool of grantees includes 13+__ retail establishments, 10+__ restaurants, 9+__ construction-related companies, 6+__ hospitality establishments, 3+__ healthcare businesses, 2+__ educational companies, 1+__ manufacturing company, 1+__ bowling alley, 2+__ landscaping companies, and 1+__ agriculture business. The selected pool of grantees also includes 14+__ women-owned businesses, 9+__ minority-owned businesses, and 3+__ veteran-owned business. The grantees are located in 3+__ different cities across Clallam and Jefferson County.

These WWSBEG recipients employ a total of (245+__) individuals and it is estimated that this grant will prevent the loss of (205+__) jobs. In approving this WWSBEG, Washington State and Clallam and Jefferson Counties will be able to support the potential preservation of these businesses and the economic security of both the company’s employees and local community.

Clallam County EDC and EDC Team Jefferson continue to advocate for additional relief dollars for small businesses from various levels of government. “While we celebrate the (48+_) small businesses that received much-needed support, the remaining (572+__) small businesses that applied are left without. The need remains high for small businesses,” said McAleer.

Once all grant contracts are executed statewide, the Department of Commerce will release the list of all businesses that will receive funding.

About Clallam County EDC and EDC Team Jefferson

Clallam County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) and EDC Team Jefferson (EDCTJ) are the Olympic Peninsula’s designated county development organizations. CCEDC and EDCTJ creates the places where organizations come together to advocate for the region, drive strategic economic growth, and champion a talented workforce. The organizations are funded through a combination of private and public investment, including nearly 900.

For more information visit www.ChooseClallamFirst.org and www.edcteamjefferson.org.

For more information contact:

Colleen McAleer                                                               Brian Kuh
Executive Director                                                           Executive Director
Clallam County EDC                                                         EDC Team Jefferson
CMcAleer@clallam.org                                                  Director@EDCTeamJefferson.org

The Week of August 10th 2020

Colleen McAleer and the Weekly Update for August 10, 2020

Unemployment Updates:   Presidential Memorandum to replace $600/week extension under assessment; effects not yet certain: On Aug. 8, the Trump Administration issued a memorandum that referenced a program for lost wage assistance to eligible claimants. Washington state is assessing the Presidential Memorandum. When additional information is available, the Employment Security Department (ESD) will communicate with claimants through its websitesocial media and direct claimant communications. ESD phone support specialists are not able to advise callers on this issue – the department discourages phone inquiries on the topic to maintain focus on claims resolution.   Virtual Job Fair tomorrow 10 am – 2 pm: Don’t miss this opportunity! If you know of a person looking for work please share this email with them. We will have nearly 50 local businesses that have job openings chatting with job seekers during the event. Job seekers can upload their resumes as well.   Here is a link for job seekers to register: https://app.brazenconnect.com/a/washington/e/X1en0   Job search requirement remains suspended through Sept. 1   The job search requirement for unemployment benefit claimants remains suspended through Sept. 1. Claimants may continue to answer “no” to the job search question on weekly claims until the suspension is lifted.
Small business relief funding:   Lifeboat Grant Awards:   The Grant Selection Committee has finished scoring the applications. This week the EDC staff will be notifying the 50 businesses that were selected to receive grant funds ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of employees.   In this round $60,000 will be awarded to Child Care businesses, $30,000 to non-profits, and the remainder will go to other types of small businesses across Clallam County.   If a business applied in this round and did not receive funding, their application will be considered in the next round which will distribute $145,000 for Clallam County businesses with fewer than 20 employees. We will announce that round before the end of August.   Kitsap Bank’s edg3 Fund 2020:   In the midst of a pandemic, supporting our small business neighbors is more important than ever. The 7th annual edg3 FUND competition is back in 2020, but with some significant changes, including MORE PRIZES! The public is also invited this year to nominate a local business that they feel meets the edg3 FUND mission. Additionally, this year’s competition will recognize small businesses that have demonstrated innovation and resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Kitsap Bank is proud to support small businesses in Western Washington who are making an impact on their communities through our edg3 FUND small business competition. We began this competition to recognize small businesses that, like Kitsap Bank, are committed to making our community a better place, and doing so in unique and innovative ways. Mission – To recognize entrepreneurs that are dedicated to growing our community economically, socially and environmentally.   To apply or nominate a business go to: https://www.kitsapbank.com/business/edg3-fund/edg3-fund-nomination-form/   Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) still available   The Small Business Administration’s EIDL program offers relief to businesses experiencing a temporary loss in revenue due to COVID-19. Borrowed EIDL funds may be used to cover a variety of operational and capital expenses. EIDL terms propose a modest 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and a 2.75% rate for nonprofits with a 30-year maturity and automatic one-year deferment period before monthly payments must begin. These flexible and low-interest loans are available to a variety of eligible small businesses.   The PPP application deadline has elapsed and loan forgiveness process is being streamlined for loan amounts less than $100K:   The Paycheck Protection Program application deadline elapsed on Aug. 8. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is no longer accepting applications from participating lenders. Applicants that successfully filed for loans before the deadline may wish to review SBA’s PPP Loan Forgiveness FAQ document for instruction on management of potentially-forgivable borrowed funds.   SBA Bridge Loans, Debt Relief still available to small businesses:   The Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to offer bridge loans to businesses currently partnered with an SBA Express Lender for quick access to up to $25,000. The SBA Debt Relief program will cover six months of principal, interest, and fees for all 7(a), 504 and Microloans in regular servicing or issued through Sept. 27.
North Olympic Legislative Alliance Update:   Our lobbyist, Josh Weiss of Gordon Thomas Honeywell, has produced this recap of the primary election results.   NOLA’s membership will want to assess their priorities from 2020 and determine whether they have changed. It will be important to ask the 24th district legislators about what their position on possible priorities will be.    Clallam and Jefferson County NOLA partners will host a Zoom meeting in September to discuss legislative priorities for the two county region primarily focused on economic issues and broadband. If you would like to receive an invitation to this event contact either info@clallam.org or for Jefferson County businesses, contact director@edcteamjefferson.org.
State Rental Assistance:   Eviction Rent Assistance Program in the works   The Eviction Rent Assistance Program is intended to prevent evictions by paying past due and current/future rent for people needing relief. Commerce will not directly distribute these funds. to individuals. Sign up to receive email notifications once service providers and application information are announced in each community. 
Join Congressman Kilmer for Coffee with Colleen Wednesday, August 19 at 8 am.   Come join the conversation on Zoom on Wednesday morning at 8am: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81875115879?pwd=UnEzQjV1N09rM2ZLbFIzVVVxYzJoQT09
Amended indoor fitness, pool regulations now in effect:   Recent updates to indoor fitness guidance took effect on Aug. 10. Guidance is now consistent across Phases 2 and 3, face coverings are required except during strenuous exercise, and social distancing is defined as 300 square feet per person. Pools are also permitted to operate (with restrictions) in all Safe Start Phases, with the exception of some Modified Phase 1 counties. A new FAQ document illustrates how new regulations may affect common activities at fitness centers. Under the new rules, unstaffed fitness facilities are no longer permitted to operate. Examples might include HOA or hotel pools or gyms. At least one employee must monitor the facility for its operation to be lawful.
Workplace Safety:   Free workplace safety and health consultation   The Department of Labor and Industries offers no-fee workplace safety and health consultation. Professional staff will identify hazards and help get your business in compliance with COVID-19 workplace safety requirements. No fines or penalties will result from issues uncovered during a consultation
Workplace Safety:   Free workplace safety and health consultation   The Department of Labor and Industries offers no-fee workplace safety and health consultation. Professional staff will identify hazards and help get your business in compliance with COVID-19 workplace safety requirements. No fines or penalties will result from issues uncovered during a consultation

Forks, Washington, hopes vampires of Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Midnight Sun’ will revive tourism | CNN Travel (CNN) — Nestled in the northwest tip of Washington state is an idyllic town hoping a group of angsty teenage vampires will provide some much-needed relief to its pandemic-stricken community … http://www.cnn.com