Business Resource Center

The Business Resource Center serves all U District Business Improvement Area (UDBIA) businesses and prospective businesses looking to enter the district by connecting them to the best available information and providing direct services to individual businesses. The U District Partnership (UDP) has gathered information and tools for successfully launching a business in the U District.

HOW TO OBTAIN THE EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDIT

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is a critical provision in the massive 5,500-plus-page Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 for small-business owners to understand and possibly utilize. It is a refundable payroll tax credit available to taxpayers that satisfied one of the following two criteria:

  • Your business was at least partially suspended by a government rule during at least one quarter of 2020.
  • You experienced a 50% drop in gross receipts in any quarter of 2020 relative to the same quarter in 2019.

If either criteria were satisfied, your business is entitled to a refundable tax credit (offsetting tax liability if your business had any; otherwise the government will send you a check for the value of the credit). The credit equals 50% of eligible wages paid in that quarter, up to $10,000 per employee, per year.

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UPDATE TO PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Earlier this week, the SBA announced steps the agency is taking with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses. With the exception of the first item, the following will start next week:

  1. The SBA will establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees.
  2. The SBA will allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants.
  3. The agency will eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal.
  4. Also, the SBA will eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP.
  5. Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

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Now What? Steps You Can Take to Access PPP Funding:

  • Keep in communication with your PPP lender – regardless the size of your small business, continue to work with your lender to keep the application process moving.
  • Find a PPP lender if you don’t already have one – use the PPP Lender Map or Lender Match tools to find a lender accepting PPP lenders.
  • Work with an SBA Resource Partner – connect with local mentors and advisers to help you prepare your application and devise the best financial and strategic plan to move your business forward.
  • Attend an informational webinar – local SBA staff and SBA Resource Partners are providing webinars that share program information, updates and resources to help you prepare for the PPP application process. View upcoming webinars in the Seattle District, Portland District, Boise District or Alaska District.

Business Support

New Business Support. The UDP helps businesses new to the UDBIA by providing information and tools, but we also offer much more, such as opportunities to participate in numerous U District business-friendly events, introductions to local vendors and suppliers, contacts to our Ambassadors Team, cleaning schedule details and discount, introduction into the District Business Network and of course 1-on-1 support getting the word out for your Grand Opening. For more information on how the UDP can help you, please contact Daniel Lokic at daniel@udistrictpartnership.org

Business Basics. From helping get the word out on your Grand Opening to researching data for your business growth, the UDP staff are ready to serve you. Contact Daniel Lokic at daniel@udistrictpartnership.org

Improving Your Online Presence. Having an online presence is critical. Maximizing your presence includes everything from your website to your Yelp rating. The UDP can help you get started and connect you with experts. Contact Daniel Lokic at daniel@udistrictpartnership.org

U District Business Blockwatch. The U District Business Block Watch is comprised of business operators in the district working together as the first and best line of defense against crime. The Block Watch Members encourage all U District businesses to join.

Studies, Facts, and Figures

Clean & Safe Programs

A vibrant district of entrepreneurs, major employers, smart workers, and diverse residents needs a public realm that works for everybody. To ensure friendly, inviting, clean, and safe streets and public areas, the U District Partnership has initiated and manages an active program that focuses on crime and disorder hotspots, public rights-of-way, community services, and partnerships with law enforcement and educational organizations. Maintaining seasonal flower baskets, keeping sidewalks leaf and ice free, and removing graffiti are just a few of the several strategies the U District Partnership employs to make the U District a cleaner and more vibrant place to work, live, and visit.

Coworking Spaces

Tools & Guides

Business Decision Engine. Find local information to help your business make smarter, faster, better decisions. This tool allows you to use the Seattle Office of Economic Development’s local knowledge to improve your business success.

Labor Standards. Seattle’s Minimum Wage will be increased again in 2019. A downloadable copy of the current minimum wage table is available here.

ORCA Program. Join 1,000+ Seattle businesses who offer the ORCA transit pass as an employee benefit. ORCA cards work on all the buses, trains, streetcars, and water taxis that commuters rely on, and
Commute Seattle can help you tailor an ORCA for Business program to meet your budget. Best of all, local businesses new to commuter benefits may be eligible for a match of up to $10,000 when investing in an ORCA program. There’s even a free consultation.

Restaurant Success. This comprehensive guide created by the Seattle Office of Economic Development makes it easier to start or grow your restaurant or food-truck business.

 

Promoting Your Business & Events

Business & Nonprofit Profiles. Every month, the UDP newsletter features a U District Business or Nonprofit. It’s a great (and free) way to introduce your business to potential customers. If you are interested, please contact social@udistrictpartnership.org.

Events. Organizing a business-friendly event? We’d love to help. If you’re simply looking to get the word out, please contact social@udistrictpartnership.org. If we can offer more assistance, please contact daniel@udistrictpartnership.org.

 

External Resources

Business Network. The U District Business Network is comprised of business operators in the district coming together to provide a more unified, purposeful and effective University District business community voice and offer an information sharing platform for the University District community.

Seattle Office of Economic Development Small Business Center. The Small Business Development team works with individual businesses to learn about their priorities, needs, and challenges, and connects them to services that will help them grow and remain competitive.

U District Let’s Go. Help your employees get to work and help your customers get there too.

U District Small Businesses. The U District Small Business association is a collective of individuals who aim to preserve the unique characteristics of the U District.

University Heights Center. The University Heights Community Center has recently opened up its regular programming to include a variety of courses that are low-cost or free to the community. This includes coursework on personal finance, nonprofit management, and now legal topics. U Heights partnered with the Public Law Library of King County (PLLKC) in late 2018 to provide a course on pro se representation that was well received. Through community outreach and networking, U Heights has identified a strong desire for additional legal coursework, including family law, immigration, and small business among other topics. U Heights is confident it will continue to grow this program through additional partnerships and outreach.

Questions?

For more information, please email UDP Economic Development Program Manager Daniel Lokic at daniel@udistrictpartnership.org or call 206-547-4417.