With Washington state recently seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, the inevitability of another strict lockdown looms. In March, ECOSS quickly responded to business and community needs as new information, guidelines and restrictions developed regarding the pandemic.

From March to October, ECOSS engaged over 170 immigrant-owned businesses and over 100 individuals from multicultural communities located throughout King County and nearby neighborhoods. ECOSS staff provided resources and technical support in multiple languages including Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Amharic, Tigrinya, Swahili, Somali and Hindi across a variety of communication platforms — phone calls, text and WhatsApp, and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

As a result of the engagement, ECOSS increased COVID-19 health literacy and awareness of businesses and community members while facilitating access to multiple resources, which included: COVID-19 testing, anti-hate and bias information, updated Governor Jay Inslee’s Phased guidelines as they are released by State and County, food access and food supply, City of Seattle Stabilization Fund, several small-business grants, emergency relief fund for foodservice/restaurant workers, PPP loan, unemployment benefits, business tax deferment, utilities discount programs or utility deferred payment plan.

In terms of the financial impact of ECOSS outreach, 11 businesses were awarded the City of Seattle Stabilization Fund, six (6) businesses were awarded small-business grants, and via The Plate Fund, $35,000 were distributed among 70 restaurant workers impacted by COVID-19 in King County.

ECOSS plans to continue this service with partners in Seattle, King County, and other regional municipalities. With a large grassroots network and strong relationships with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Office of Economic Development, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, and Seattle & King County Public Health, ECOSS can quickly connect and request information and services across King County. 

As Washington state braces itself for another spike in the COVID-19 pandemic, ECOSS will continue to work with businesses and frontline communities to adapt. As with many nonprofits, especially those working on the frontlines, your support can have a significant impact on the success of ECOSS’ programs.

Thank you for believing in ECOSS’ vision of thriving communities that are environmentally sustainable and equitable.