Thurston Strong Update

Employers: The Washington State ESD Shared Work Program Still an Option

If returning part-time or full-time permanent employees are causing your business financial hardship, Washington’s nationally recognized SharedWork program might help. SharedWork allows employers to reduce hours by as much as 50%, while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of lost wages. To determine if you’re eligible: 800-752-2500 or

Workers: UI Payments of Extra $300 to Start in Mid-January

New federal legislation that expands CARES Act provisions includes an extra $300 per week for eligible claimants receiving benefits from any unemployment program. The extra payment is called Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Claimants eligible for benefits from the week ending Jan. 2 to the week ending March. 13 will receive the extra amount. Payments should start on Jan. 15. Track developments on ESD’s website and social media.

Businesses: PPP Portal Opens Jan. 15 for Small Lenders, Jan. 19 for All Others

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced they will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15, at 9:00 am EST. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19, to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.

If you need help finding a lender, visit:

For those seeking more information, here are excerpts from the SBA press release:

  • Earlier in the week, SBA granted dedicated PPP access to Community Financial Institutions (CFIs), which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to reach underserved and minority small businesses.
  • On Friday, SBA will continue its emphasis on reaching smaller lenders and businesses by opening to approximately 5,000 more lenders, including community banks, credit unions, and farm credit institutions. The agency also plans to have dedicated service hours for these smaller lenders after the portal fully re-opens next week.
  • First Draw PPP Loans are for borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020. The first round, which ran from March to August 2020, was a historic success helping 5.2 million small businesses keep 51 million American workers employed.
  • Second Draw PPP Loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less that previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will use or have used the full amount for authorized uses, and that can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million.

Updated Lender forms, guidance, and resources at and

The SBA has provided more clarity about the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

Eligible entities include:

  •  Live venue operators or promoters
  •  Theatrical producers
  •  Live performing arts organization operators
  •  Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  •  Motion picture theater operators
  •  Talent representatives, and
  •  Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Awards will be either for:

  •  An eligible entity that was in operation on Jan. 1, 2019, the lesser of an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 Million.
  •  An eligible entity that began operation after Jan. 1, 2019, the lesser of the average monthly gross revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by 6 OR $10 Million.