Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee unveils an economic relief package to help workers, businesses, tenants, families and more in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Other state and municipal leaders, as well as journalists, also participated remotely to accommodate social distancing. 

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The city of Stanwood has streamlined the services and resources available to the public during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The city has compiled community wide COVID-19 updates on its website, stanwoodwa.org. The new webpage features data on local cases — now at 25 as of late Wednesday — and information on how to access city services now that City Hall and the Police Station are closed to the public.

A second new webpage features information for Stanwood and Camano Island businesses. 

"The city is keenly aware that our businesses are impacted or will be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak," Stanwood city administrator  Jennifer Ferguson writes. "The purpose of this communication is to provide resources and suggestions for mitigating the negative impacts on your business. Stanwood businesses are the backbone of this community and keep our local economy moving and we are here to assist you."

The website allows businesspeople to reach out to the city to let officials know how they are doing, share a creative ideas to meet customer expectations or to report changes in your customers behaviors.

"The city is tracking what is going on with our business community and we need your assistance to reach out and share what is happening," Ferguson wrote.

The business-oriented website contains links to the following features:

Economic assistance to workers, renters and small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak was the subject of an afternoon news conference by Gov. Jay Inslee.

At the beginning of the week, Inslee mandated a two-week closure of restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities across the state in an effort to increase social distancing and reduce opportunities for the virus to spread.

As a result, many workers have found themselves suddenly out of work and wondering what they would do.

“We know we are heading for some really choppy economic waters,” Inslee admitted on Wednesday, March 18.

The governor ordered a 30-day moratorium on renter evictions to ease pressures on workers and businesses struggling to pay rent during the slowdown.

Inslee said landlords will be prohibited from taking legal action against tenants and added that eviction notices cannot be presented to renters unless there is a legitimate health or safety concern.

The governor asked utility companies to be more flexible with their customers during this period of economic strife, pressing for a waiver of late fees, a suspension of penalties for nonpayment and an expansion of bill assistance programs.

To provide quicker assistance to displaced workers, Inslee announced a waiver of the one-week waiting period for those applying for unemployment insurance. On March 8, the governor expanded the unemployment insurance criteria to include more workers impacted by COVID-19.

The governor also said the Family Emergency Assistance Program, under the Department of Social and Health Services, will be expanded to include financial assistance for families with no children.

To help small businesses across the state facing tough times due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Inslee pledged up to $5 million of the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds to be made available as small grants.

See the new proclamations here, and read Inslee's news release here.

Cameron Sheppard of WNPA News Service contributed to this report

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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