ECOSS’ 2020 Impact Report

2020 was a unique year that laid bare the inequities that BIPOC communities face in not only environmental disparities, but also health disparities, access to information and more. The strengths that enable ECOSS to be a leader in environmental equity played a central role in response the COVID-19 pandemic: trusted relationships with frontline communities; shared culture and language; and bridges with industry, community and government.

ECOSS has served 170 businesses and 100 community members through its COVID outreach projects that address financial, technology and information gaps. Additionally, ECOSS continued to strive for its vision of thriving healthy communities despite the new challenges to outreach work. ECOSS’ environmental outreach served over 2,500 community members and business owners in 2020.

Donate to support ECOSS’ environmental equity work with frontline communities!

Check out the highlights from 2020 around environmental justice, clean water, clean energy and solid waste management:

You can also download a printable version here:

ECOSS’ COVID-19 Response and Action

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.

Environmental, Health and Racial Justice

In response the the COIVD-19 pandemic, ECOSS adapted its strengths in multicultural outreach to help businesses stay afloat and communities stay healthy. ECOSS staff have deep, trusted relationships with the businesses and communities they work with, which was critical during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.

ECOSS is continuing to help frontline communities and businesses. Recently, King County’s Office of Equity and Social Justice awarded ECOSS with a Community Response grant to build capacity and meet immediate needs. From that, staff have implemented numerous accomplishments:

  • Informed and assisted restaurants about City of Seattle’s Business Stabilization grants; 15 of these restaurants were among the selected grantees: Addis Market, Canton Noodle House, East African Grocery, Pho Hanoi Restaurant, Rain Café, Safari Njema Restaraunt, Thanh Thanh Cafe, Thien Phat Restaurant, Time Bistro, Yummy House Bakery, Blue Heron Café, Oak Tree Teriyaki, Teriyaki Plus, U DupBop, Rainier Teriyaki.
  • Delivered information and resources to over 80 restaurants and grocery stores in nine languages.
  • Provided translations and interpretation of coronavirus health literacy materials in Amharic, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese.
  • Trained Vietnamese community members in conducting wellness checks via phone and worked with a temple in White Center to distribute masks.
  • Created audio transcriptions of business loan information and coronavirus-related materials.

Many of the same disparities that lead to environmental injustices and inequities are drivers of health inequities: language access, digital literacy and geographical location, among others. For immigrants, refugees, non-native English speakers and other underserved communities, these disparities are being magnified during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

ECOSS has leaned into its role as an education and community outreach expert, pivoting quickly and nimbly to meet the immediate needs of those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. However, your support will ensure ECOSS can continue to do this vital work:

GiveBIG through May 15

Donate to ECOSS directly or set up a monthly gift

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

Tackling COVID-19/Coronavirus Together

Dear ECOSS community,

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is leading to many changes in how we live and operate businesses. The impact of the virus on people’s lives highlights the role ECCOSS serves as a trusted advocate and ally. We have been supporting communities and providing confidential information to businesses for more than 25 years.

At ECOSS, the health and safety of those we serve are top priorities. As an organization, we are following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Workplace Recommendations for the next 30 days of Mitigation Strategies for Seattle-King County. In accordance with these recommendations, our staff is working remotely to ensure the safety of our team, partners and collaborators. We realize these are stressful times and our thoughts are with those who have already been affected by the Coronavirus.

Business and community support: 

To slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and avoid overburdening medical facilities, people are being asked to distance themselves from others whenever possible.

ECOSS will continue to provide support to business owners, workers and community members in whatever ways we can in order to mitigate the impacts of these distancing measures.

To help communities and navigate this stressful and uncertain period, ECOSS developed a website with links to information and resources.

Compilation of resources

Public Events: 

We are postponing all our events and in-person outreach through April 15, 2020. Should conditions change, we will provide updated information via our website, email newsletter, Facebook and Twitter.

Please keep in touch with us! Contact us at 206-767-0432 or

What support do you or your community need from ECOSS right now? Please let us know.

Here are some of the actions we are taking right now: 

  • Our entire staff have been gathering resources and working with government and nonprofit partners to create resources and information in multiple languages:
  • Our multicultural outreach team is currently contacting businesses by phone who are affected by the restaurant and store closures to find out their immediate needs and how we can help.
  • We will be supporting small businesses in accessing resources they need in multiple languages; this includes filling in forms, applications, and accessing government programs.
  • We are exploring ways to host “virtual tours,” webinars, digital videos, or other online educational activities related to the work that ECOSS provides – stay tuned!

We recognize that everyone will experience some hardship from the Coronavirus, but if you are in a position to support this important work, please contribute to ECOSS today. To donate, go to

ECOSS staff are pulling together, working entirely via Zoom video chats, phone and email. Our team is incredibly resilient, creative and stronger together. We look forward to seeing you in person in the near future! Stay safe and healthy, and please keep in touch.

From our family to yours,