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Updates on Covid-19
 

Here you can find helpful information on Covid-19, it's effects on your business, and resources to best manage your business through this time of uncertainty. 

This page is updated as new information becomes available. Scroll down to view past updates.


5.27.20 - COVID-19 Update #10


Let’s kick things off with positive news: U.S. consumer confidence stabilized in May (LINK) as states rolled back lock-down mandates and nonessential businesses reopened.

Closer to home, boating continues to see an increase in popularity around the country. In fact, according to GasBuddy’s Annual Summer travel survey, 36% of respondents are canceling trips that require flying, and 24% plan to make shorter trips by distance. That survey bodes well for us (more info on the survey here - LINK), especially when you see how popular boating terms have scored in various search engines (LINK).

On the flip side of this sunshine, the Conference Board, which keeps track of consumer confidence for us, cautioned that a second coronavirus wave could increase uncertainty and dampen consumers’ outlook (and spending) long term (LINK).

What that means is that business as usual (i.e. life prior to Gov. Inslee’s "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order (which took effect 63 days ago)) is over. Where does that leave us? From a marketing perspective, peruse this recent interview from Forbes magazine (“How COVID-19 is changing the language of marketing” (LINK). The expert encourages marketers (that’s you) to stop using the word "unprecedented." As he says, move on from, "we’re here for you" to, "here’s how we can help" and go beyond "we’re in this together" to talking about what you are actually doing.

From a tactical perspective, take advantage of resources on how to operate safely in this new world. If you interact with consumers, familiarize yourself with the guidelines from Gov. Inslee that comprise Phase II (LINK). Also, attend this webinar tomorrow (May 28) produced by our friends at the Washington Retail Association that will cover safe re-opening tips and best practices (LINK). While you are at it, print out the Retail COVID Safety Operational Plan for your company.

For our marina members, Association of Marine Industries (AMI) has created a plethora (big word!) of compelling content. More specifically:

 
If you are looking to connect with real life humans to talk boating and build community in our area, please be our guest on the weekly webinar series Seattle Boat Show Live, where NMTA V.P. Peter Schrappen hosts and features updates from NMTA member Mark Bunzel and his team at Waggoner Cruising Guide. This week’s episode starts tomorrow (Thursday, 5/28) at 7:00 p.m. with an update from Mark and then Peter will interview our state’s Boating Program Manager (who doubles as Washington state’s Boating Law Administrator) Rob Sendak on what he’s hearing and seeing around the Sound. Rob will include updates on what’s open and not and what’s coming down the road. Plus, he will explain why our state is not moving forward with one single reopening boating policy around the state but rather different boating policies for what opens and doesn’t. You can register here (LINK).
 
In closing, Peter Schrappen wanted to share this recent article from the New Yorker. Peter has paid close attention to this writer, Dr. Atual Gawande, for 14 years. This most recent article (“Amid the Coronavirus, a regimen for reentry”) is making the rounds at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and offers sound advice from a medical perspective on how to combat COVID-19 (LINK). (“The four pillars of our strategy (to combat COVID-19) —hygiene, distancing, screening, and masks—will not return us to normal life, but, when signs indicate that the virus is under control, they could get people out of their homes and moving again. Culture is the fifth, and arguably the most difficult, pillar of a new combination therapy to stop the coronavirus."
 
There we go again. More than one page. There’s just too much good stuff happening. We hope to see you tomorrow (Thursday) evening as part of the Seattle Boat Show Live festivities.
 
See you on the water,
 
NMTA Staff

5.20.20 - COVID-19 Update #9

Today marks 58 days since Gov. Inslee issued the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Executive Order. In breakneck speed, businesses, like yours, had to either shut down or, for those deemed “essential” from the outset, figure out how to operate safely in this new world.

So, where are we? You are in Phase One of Washington’s four-phase approach for reopening (cheat sheet here (LINK) (that is, unless you live in a more rural county listed here). More specifically, what that hopefully means is that you have strategized about what the future looks like. This document from our partners at the Washington Retailers Association is a good place to start, thinking big picture (LINK). For boatyards, marinas, people who repair vessels and, more recently, retailers who can offer curbside pick-up and boat dealers and brokers who can keep themselves and their customers safe and are open for business, Gov. Inslee has moved you into the “you are now able to reopen” bucket.

Even if you are allowed to reopen, you will still want to have an updated safety plan that addresses COVID-19 concerns. For example, here is a comprehensive safety guide to operating your boating business (LINK), here’s one for curb-side retail pick-up (LINK) and a general safety operational workplan (LINK). If you are a marina, you will want to check this guide out (“Best Practices in Marina Operations”) (LINK).

While these plans may seem onerous at first blush, please keep in mind that consumers are going to want to have confidence in your establishment before they wander in. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is going the extra mile to reassure consumers that their businesses are clean. While not directly related, it’s helpful to know what other companies (with much bigger budgets) are doing to grow their business (“Enterprise, desperate for rentals, launches car cleaning campaign” (LINK).

Looking for more good news? Boating is open, as is the NMTA-produced OpenforBoating.com website (LINK). In fact, NMTA’s President George Harris was on camera yesterday (LINK) with KOMO’s Denise Whitaker to tout the various boating opportunities. Kudos to NMTA’s Karsten McIntosh for pulling all the right levers to get these boating resources up for boaters.

NMTA is not resting on the success we’ve experienced getting a segment of our members and boaters and anglers up and running. Peter Schrappen, NMTA’s Government Affairs Director & VP, continues to press the City of Seattle to open all of their launch ramps. Check out the recent letter NMTA sent to the City of Seattle (LINK). Additionally, we are monitoring the opening of shrimping. While we don’t have a firm date yet, we remain optimistic that the state still has their sights set for late May for shrimping in some marine areas.

As for boating resources and general information, I don’t know about you, but there sure seems to be a lot of info flying around. It’s our hope that this weekly one-page email (If you aren’t caught up, please visit our webpage that contains our previous weekly communications (LINK)) is useful and that you can adopt the various plans as you look ahead.

  • Case in point: Did you know that the American Boating Congress, that’s the annual national event typically held in Washington, DC, occurred on May 13-14? If not, that’s okay. Thanks to our friends at NMMA, who by the way have stood out for the boating coverage as it relates to COVID-19 (LINK), have shared the PowerPoints with two crisp links.

In particular, these two links stood out for us and are getting our “seal of approval”. This info is especially relevant to those members who want an update on the boating industry. If tidy line graphs are your thing, then spend time playing around with these trend lines.

 
Wow, just like that, we’ve broken our “one-page update”. In closing, if you are looking for a Seattle Boat Show Live update for this Thursday, you will have to wait until Thursday, May 28. In the meantime, NMTA member Mark Bunzel and his team at Waggoner Cruising Guide have an informative 30 minutes in store from 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 21. You can RSVP here (LINK).
 
Thanks for reading, stay safe on the water and tight lines,

NMTA Staff

5.12.20 - COVID-19 Update #8 - NMTA Premieres OpenForBoating.com

Good afternoon,

Have you had a chance to visit NMTA’s new website OpenForBoating.com? Kudos to NMTA Dir. of Communications Karsten McIntosh for launching this website late last week to help boaters better understand where they can go boating and how they can do it safely, while also providing an opportunity for new boaters to educate themselves on getting into boating. Get to know the site and please share with your customers and on any social media or communication channels you have. If you have any suggestions or feedback you can submit them directly through the “Ask a Question” and “Contact” forms on the website.

Hopefully you know that Gov. Inslee continues to bring back more and more aspects of boating and marine trades. Last week, we talked about the plan for boat brokers and dealers to return to work sooner rather than later. Now with the gorgeous weekend of boating in our rearview mirror, it is gratifying to see the demand to get back on the water. As we’ve said, boating provides a type of antidote for COVID-19. And there’s no middle seat!

So you’ve perused Open for Boating and your interest is piqued. Take a look at the recorded premier of Seattle Boat Show Live from last week where NMTA Dir. of Government Affairs Peter Schrappen interviewed the publishing and editing team of Waggoner Cruising Guide on boating during the COVID-19 pandemic (LINK).

As for this week’s edition of Seattle Boat Show Live, the state’s Boating Program Manager & Boating Law Administrator Rob Sendak will join us on Thursday, May 14 at 7 p.m. If you are fielding questions on boating safety and how to boat safely in this new world, imagine what our state’s top staffer who oversees marine law enforcement’s day is like. As serious as this topic is, Rob offers a fun vision to boating and how safe boating is fun boating. You can register here (LINK).

But wait, there’s more.
The annual American Boating Congress (ABC) (LINK) is this week, May 13-14. What’s the American Boating Congress, you ask?

ABC is the annual advocacy and conference experience in Washington, D.C. designed for boating leaders. These two days peek into the industry with updates and briefings all with an advocacy lens. Instead of flying to D.C. this year, the hosts, NMMA, have brought ABC to you. Plus, Washington state will be featured in one of the breakouts. Click here to view and download the ABC 2020 program. According to NMMA, “This year’s annual advocacy summit is as important and timely as ever.”

As we have shared in previous updates (LINK), now is the time to adopt a safety plan for your business. If you are unsure of where to start, check out this new 58-page guide that walks dealers, brokers, marina operators and boatyard owners through a process (LINK). This Marine Retailers Association of the Americas-led effort features three sections: Your Business, Your Customers, and Your Employees (LINK). This resource includes articles, tips, best practices, downloads, PDFs for print, and spreadsheets for your use.

Speaking of boat dealers and brokers, did you know that Gov. Inslee has included you in this current Phase 1 opening? As part of this new beginning, think about and adopt a new safety plan (see the above plan) but also reach out to Peter Schrappen (Peter@nmta.net) with your questions.

Wrapping up here, it’s always a good idea to check NMTA’s Twitter feed (@NMTA) and the hashtag #NMTACOVID.

Stay safe, stay healthy. 

- NMTA Staff

5.4.20 - COVID-19 Update #7 - Boat sales are back!


Dear NMTA Member, 

Just as we had positive news to report with last week’s COVID-19 update (LINK) that boating and fishing are reopening in a limited manner on Tuesday, May 5, this week gets started with an important announcement today that boat sales can begin the process to reopen. There are still details to sort out, but the fact that boat sales are on the same level as car sales is big news and different from what we had heard in Friday’s announcement from the Governor. 

Maybe this news story on KIRO-7 that featured NMTA President George Harris from Saturday evening helped Gov. Inslee include us or NMTA’s advocacy efforts that included this memo sent to Gov. Inslee and his team last evening (LINK). Or maybe it was the support of our friends at the Washington Retail Association for advocating on our behalf, too. Or maybe a combo of all of the above. Regardless, boat dealers and brokers received some needed good news today that boat sales can begin by May 15 (LINK to the formal proclamation, note page four), and we are appreciative of the governor for bringing boat sales back online. 

Speaking of the reopening of businesses, this past AWB webinar (LINK to the webinar’s highlights) was another good reminder how important it's going to be for businesses to develop new safety plans for its employees and customers. If you’d like to see what’s available for retail, manufacturing, boatyards and other sectors, please drop Peter Schrappen a line (Peter@Nmta.net
 
As for boating and fishing, which can begin anew on May 5 in a limited fashion, here are some resources and guidelines that the governor, State Parks, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Boat US have shared with us. 

  • Updated list from State Parks on what marine parks are open and closed (HERE
  • Info from WDFW on fishing opportunities and how to boat safely (LINK)
  • Infographic that you can post from Boat US on safe boating (LINK)

We're excited to be launching a robust digital advertising campaign this week that will run for a month promoting boating and letting the public know that we're back in business. Be sure to look for our ads as you browse the web and social media platforms. We'll also be launching a new website for boaters to go to get all of the information they need to boat responsibly and follow current guidelines. 

Wrapping up here, if you find yourself frustrated that you are not getting the info you need about your business, please contact Peter Schrappen to see how he can help (Peter@Nmta.net). 

Also, don’t forget about the world premier of Seattle Boat Show Live this Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 pm. Waggoner Cruising Guide’s Mark Bunzel will lay out what boating looks like in the near future. Included in this hour-long special event will be sample itineraries and frequently asked questions about boating best practices. You can register here (LINK). 

In the meantime, see you on the water (starting tomorrow),

NMTA Staff

4.28.20 - COVID-19 Update #6

We hope you saw the big news coming from Gov. Inslee on what the immediate future looks like for recreational boating and fishing. His remarks were encouraging and set the path for a safe and responsible partial reopening of boating on May 5. The specific boating and fishing guidance is located here (LINK, pages 3-4).

At the highest level, Gov. Inslee based this reopening on the fact that boaters would need to adhere to safety guidelines (i.e. only boat with people from your same household, no large gatherings, no rafting up and remembering to wash hands and high-touch surfaces often). Plus, the governor is continuing to watch COVID-19 cases. Should there be a spike, we can expect that tighter restrictions will return. 

Here are some more specifics and resources:

  • Mooring buoys run by State Parks will not be available for overnight usage. 
  • “WDFW to reopen some recreational fishing on May 5” (LINK)
    • Specifically, lingcod fishing reopens May 5 in most Puget Sound areas and the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Marine Areas 5-7, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10, 11 and 13)
  • For additional updates in real time, please visit the @NMTA twitter handle and look for #NMTACOVID. For fishing opportunities, follow @WDFW and their hashtag #ResponsibleRecreation 
  • The U.S. - Canada border remains closed for recreational vessels and car traffic. We are in touch with Sens. Cantwell and Murray about its reopening. 
  • From yesterday’s guidelines from the governor: “Employees necessary to operate marinas, boatyards, boat launches and boat rentals are authorized” (to return to work).”

One thing is certain: Each NMTA business is going to need to get comfortable with a safety plan. NMTA has shared these plans with lawmakers and the governor’s team. Please take a moment and review the guidelines that have come across our desks. If you are a manufacturer, the NMMA plan is here (LINK). For retailers, you will want to see this link (Here). These plans will interest boatyards (Here and Here).

You can be assured that NMTA’s staff is in constant contact with Governor Inslee’s office and state agencies. For example on Wednesday, NMTA Pres. George Harris and V.P. Peter Schrappen will participate in a two hour exercise with WDFW to shape what upcoming fishing opportunities look like.

All of this positive news (Breaking news: Washington state parks, recreational fishing to reopen May 5, Inslee says (with quotes from NMTA) (LINK)) should be qualified that this reopening will be like a light dimmer getting turned up gradually. This metaphor is true for boating, fishing and working in this post-COVID-19 world. Plus, this progress could be put on hold if COVID-19 spikes back up. 

In closing, stay tuned for the premier of Seattle Boat Show Live. This online event will occur on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 pm and will feature Waggoner Cruising Guide’s editor and publisher Mark Bunzel who will lay out what boating looks like in the near future. Included in this hour-long special event will be sample itineraries and frequently asked questions about boating best practices. 

If you have specific questions about your business or recreation, please send them to Peter Schrappen (Peter@nmta.net) . 

See you on the water (from a safe distance),
 
NMTA Staff
 
P.S. The NMTA Annual Meeting, which was recorded on April 15, is as relevant as ever. Spend an hour with us here (LINK).

4.21.20 - COVID-19 Update #5

A big thank you to the over 100 members who joined us for the NMTA Annual meeting last Wednesday, April 15. We covered a lot of ground in the hour. NMTA President George Harris, NMTA Vice President Peter Schrappen and NMMA’s Sr. Vice President Nicole Vasilaros updated members on the state of the recreational boating industry, which included a legislative debrief and an overview of the CARES Act. If you happened to miss this special event, you can find it here.

Please note, this is the fifth edition of our weekly COVID-19 communication. If you missed previous emails, you can find them here. Returning to the FAQ format we used last week, here are some questions that we are hearing from members and the general public. 

Why is recreational fishing closed in Washington state?

  1. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind answered this question in an interview on March 28, 2020 with The Outdoor Line on 710 ESPN, which you can find here (“WDFW Director Kelly Susewind on the statewide fishing closure” (LINK). In this conversation, he cites three reasons to take this unprecedented action:
    1. He was not able to provide the salmon monitors on vessels while maintaining social distancing.
      1. Salmon monitoring and sampling is needed to stay within the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements. 
    2. Once WDFW closed this fishery, they saw pressure from anglers ascending on other fisheries. Director Susewind did not want to see a concentration of anglers in just a few areas. 
    3. Speaking to closing fishing on private docks and dipping a line in the water at a pier, he did not think that this was an equitable approach given that fish are a state resource and not everyone has this same access to this resource if people are using their private docks. 

What is NMTA doing to reopen boating, fishing, and marine businesses?

    • NMTA and seven boating and fishing organizations sent this letter to Governor Inslee today. 
    • Stay tuned later this week for an action alert to reopen our state to boating and fishing. Sending this message to Governor Inslee will take about ninety seconds. 
    • MRAA, one of our partner organizations, has put forward these safe boating practices and business guidelines (“29 tips” -  LINK) and “Communicating Safe Boating Practices” (LINK), which we encourage NMTA members and boaters to adopt.
    • NMTA encourages each business to adopt a workplace safety plan that incorporates appropriate social-distance measures and follows recommended sanitation protocol. A sample of a workplace safety plan can be found here. If you would like to share your safety plan so other NMTA members can benefit from seeing what you are implementing, please send it to Peter Schrappen (peter@nmta.net)

 “I am looking to use this downtime to train up my staff. Are there any free trainings that the industry would recommend, be it COVID-19 related or general sales and marketing tutorials?”

    1. Again, MRAA has stepped up. We appreciate that they have opened up their library for all NMTA members to access. You can find these resources here.
    2. For more general courses on sales and marketing, NMTA’s Peter Schrappen speaks highly of the free offerings and certifications offered at Hubspot Academy. You can access these online materials here.

Did we miss anything? Send us your questions. We would love to hear how you are doing. If you have a membership question, you can reach Alashia Wartelle at alashia@nmta.net. For government and legislative (and other questions), feel free to contact Peter Schrappen (peter@Nmta.net
 
Sincerely,

NMTA Staff

4.13.20 - COVID-19 Update #4: Frequently Asked Questions

Since the outset of COVID-19, the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) has kept close tabs on all the moving parts of this crisis and the concerns that have come with it. While you remain focused on your business, the NMTA staff is focused on the changing nature of the world that we live in. The purpose of this weekly email is to provide you with the resources we have found to be the most helpful.

For this COVID-19 update, please take a look at the resources and info that we have gleamed in a helpful Frequently Asked Questions format. If you would like to ask your questions directly, please contact NMTA Dir. of Government Affairs & Vice President Peter Schrappen at peter@nmta.net.
 
What's next from NMTA?
We strongly encourage you to attend NMTA’s Annual Meeting this Wednesday, April 15 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. To RSVP, please email katieg@nmta.net and Katie Groseclose will send you the meeting link.
 
Where are the three useful websites that I can refer to about COVID-19 and its impact on my business?

1. NMMA’s COVID-19 Action Center: The National Marine Manufacturers Association has called on the federal government to take action and help marine manufacturers respond to COVID-19.
2. The Washington Retail Association’s COVID-19 Retailer Resource Guide consists of resources to support employers and employees, provide retailer specific guidance on business operations, and make COVID-19 general topics available.
3. The Association of Washington Business’s Resources List for employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is boating outlawed?
While not explicitly outlawed or called out as an activity not to do, NMTA is encouraging boaters to follow Governor Inslee’s request to "stay close by when going outdoors. If you need to take a car, it’s probably too far. Don’t recreate with those outside your household. Practice strong social distancing and stay at least 6-feet apart when getting fresh air.”
 
Is recreational fishing closed?
Yes, for the time being. We are hopeful that recreational fishing will be allowed once the current limit on activities ends on May 4.
 
What are some other useful websites, webinars and hashtags I should be tracking?
Washington state’s COVID-19 Response page.
Follow @NMTA on Twitter and look for #NMTACOVID to stay informed.
Check out this upcoming free webinar on Tuesday, April 14 from 11:00 pm – noon that the Seattle Metro Chamber has organized. Kris Bowen, lead policy analyst for Washington State's Employment Security Department, will join again to provide an overview on the updates that have been made to unemployment benefits programs in the last few weeks. Following Kris, hear from Davis Wright Tremaine on some new requirements around paid leave that were passed at the federal level, including how these requirements overlap with unemployment benefits.
 
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns. We are here to ensure that we all get through this together.
 
Sincerely,
 
NMTA Staff

4.6.20 - COVID-19 Update #3: CARES Act, state unemployment & Health Trust info 

Dear NMTA members,
 
You can count on us to provide you with a weekly roundup of information that our team has found to be the most valuable for your business. We send these out each Monday. It’s hard to stay on top of everything, but this info should assist you as we get through COVID-19, together.
 
Last week was a busy one. Hopefully, you saw that Governor Jay Inslee announced that he has extended the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order to May 4. While some businesses remain open, many of our members are closed. If you feel your business is essential and you would like to open, please apply HERE.
Maybe you heard about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) last week, too. These loans and grants amount to $360 billion and were part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that President Trump signed on March 27.
 
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which enables businesses to obtain up to $10 million in loans that are 100 percent forgivable if they do not lay off any employees or if they rehire employees they’ve already laid off. These loans are through your lender and the application can be found HERE.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), which includes a $10,000 grant that businesses can apply for and which they do not need to pay back. The rest of the EIDL loan, which caps out at $2 million, is not forgivable but can be more flexible than PPP in the types of expenses it covers. These loans are through the Small Business Administration and the application can be found HERE.
  • Our friends at NMMA put together this helpful flowchart to help you determine whether the EIDL or PPP is most helpful. You can find that HERE.
  • If you have questions, you can email Peter Schrappen at NMTA (Peter@nmta.net) and/or check out these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that our partners at the Seattle Metro Chamber put together (with the assistance of their consultant Monument Advocacy): Summary of CARES Act SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) & Loan Forgiveness Program (HERE)
Also, last week a record number of people filed for unemployment insurance, which is administered through our state’s ESD. There are numerous resources available to walk you through the process for your employees and as an employer, and we found these to be the most helpful.
For Workers:
 
For Businesses needing to reduce staff hours or temporarily layoff workers, here are two programs that speak to this topic
 
  • Reduced hours: SharedWork is a smart alternative to layoffs. It allows employers to reduce hours and let their employees collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. Changes have been made to make this program more accessible during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more about SharedWork, Standby and partial employment HERE.
  • Temporary shutdowns and layoffs: Employers who temporarily shut down and put their employees on standby can apply for relief of some benefit charges if their operations were directly impacted by COVID-19. Standby has also been automatically expanded from 4 to 12 weeks. Learn more HERE.
 
In closing, NMTA covers over 5,000 member employees and their dependents receive their health insurance from the NMTA Health Trust. If you received your insurance through us, please know that you can email your health insurance questions directly to Michaela Gormley at mgormley@capitalbenefitservices.com. Also, here is news for you on this subject, too.
 
  1. The insurance commissioner has extended the grace period for premium payments to 60 days.
  2. Member businesses can update and change their health insurance plans mid-plan to reduce costs and/or amount of contribution by employer.
  3. Our carriers, Regence and Kaiser Permanente, have waived any out-of-pocket payments for medical treatments related to coronavirus.
  4. Regence BlueShield coronavirus resources are available at this LINK.
  5. Kaiser Permanente coronavirus resources are available HERE.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us on staff with your questions or suggestions or ways you could use assistance. We would encourage you to keep checking our Twitter feed (@NMTA) and #NMTACOVID for updates and webinars throughout the week

Sincerely, 
 
NMTA Staff


3.30.20 - NMTA COVID-19 Update #2: PPE Donation Requests and Stimulus Info for you

Dear NMTA Member:

In our effort to keep you up to speed with the changing nature of our world, this the second communication with you centered on the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to your business. You can find our first email that includes links to various unemployment insurance resources for your employees).

As we think about the ways the boating industry can help, there is reason for hope, optimism, and good news. Specifically, we are pleased to report that sailing lofts around the area are stitching Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

You might be wondering how you can help. If your organization has masks, gloves and other PPE that you can donate, please reach out to Peter Schrappen, NMTA’s VP & Director of Government Affairs, peter@nmta.net. If your business is located in King County, there is a system already in place to facilitate these donations. Here’s a link for more info on this King County program. For our King County members, you can directly email donations@kingcounty.gov to submit donations. Someone from their team will get in touch with them to coordinate delivery of the PPEs.

Before we close, you probably heard that President Trump signed the third stimulus package on Saturday, March 28. There are over 800 pages to review but there are some early indications that there is good news for small and medium-sized businesses. NMMA has reported that many of the items we asked for were included in this legislation, which you can view here (NMMA Boating Industry Wins).

This stimulus package (also known as The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act) allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide (US Chamber Loan Guide) to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
NMTA Staff

P.S. NMTA is a member of the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and we appreciate and support their work as the state’s Chamber of Commerce. The AWB is measuring the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic over time. Businesses are encouraged to take a 2-minute survey at this LINK to track how the virus is impacting individual businesses.

3.24.20 - COVID-19 Update: Marina Workers & Employees who repair marine vessels are considered essential in Washington state

While it seems like the COVID-19 news changes minute by minute, NMTA wants to provide you with the most important news in a reliable manner. To that end, we are sharing that Governor Inslee made an important announcement yesterday (Monday) by ordering all non-essential businesses to close for a minimum of two weeks. 

With respect to essential businesses, he did explicitly list “marina workers” and “employees who repair marine vessels” as essential and can remain open during this period. You can view that entire list here (link).

Of course, each individual member should make their own decision that is best for the health and safety of their employees and customers.  

You should know that there is a process in place if you would like to be deemed essential. That form for approval is available here (link). If you have questions please contact Peter Schrappen, NMTA Vice-President & Director of Government Affairs at peter@nmta.net.

Also, given the tremendous uncertainty that exists with the economy, please take a look at this resource page from Washington state’s Employment Security Department (ESD). They have launched aCOVID-19 resource webpage with aScenarios & Benefits Option Chart. You will likely find one or more of the following options applicable to your scenario. TheirFrequently Asked Questionsis a wonderful resource also.

Here are three links we want to share from the ESD site:

  • Shared work is a great resource if your employer reduces work hours, but employers need to initiate and coordinate with the ESD.

  • Temporary layoffs or standby– Employees who are either part-time or full-time are eligible to apply for this benefit without meeting the job search requirement. (ESD has just promulgated emergency rules to also make this option for part-time employees.)

  • Applications with the ESD are available by phone or onlinehere. According to the ESD Commissioner Suzan LeVine, their staffing to process unemployment applications is ready and adequate unless the current situation worsens dramatically.

In closing, please bookmark these websites and check them regularly as this situation is continue to change:

  • NMTA homepage (link) for timely info and recaps of pertinent info vetted by NMTA’s staff and tailored to our members

  • Washington Retail Association’s COVID19 resource page (link): The Washington Retail Association is a trusted partner, and their updates are impressive.

  • Washington state’s COVID-19 response page (link)

If you have any questions or need more information, please reach out to Peter Schrappen, NMTA’s VP & Director of Government Affairs. He can assist you and connect you with the right people as we get through this together. 

Sincerely,

NMTA Staff

P.S. Social distancing is new for all of us. To avoid isolation and loneliness, check on your team often. That’s worked well for us here at NMTA. 

Dear NMTA Member, 

Just as we had positive news to report with last week’s COVID-19 update (LINK) that boating and fishing are reopening in a limited manner on Tuesday, May 5, this week gets started with an important announcement today that boat sales can begin the process to reopen. There are still details to sort out, but the fact that boat sales are on the same level as car sales is big news and different from what we had heard in Friday’s announcement from the Governor. 

Maybe this news story on KIRO-7 that featured NMTA President George Harris from Saturday evening helped Gov. Inslee include us or NMTA’s advocacy efforts that included this memo sent to Gov. Inslee and his team last evening (LINK). Or maybe it was the support of our friends at the Washington Retail Association for advocating on our behalf, too. Or maybe a combo of all of the above. Regardless, boat dealers and brokers received some needed good news today that boat sales can begin by May 15 (LINK to the formal proclamation, note page four), and we are appreciative of the governor for bringing boat sales back online. 

Speaking of the reopening of businesses, this past AWB webinar (LINK to the webinar’s highlights) was another good reminder how important it's going to be for businesses to develop new safety plans for its employees and customers. If you’d like to see what’s available for retail, manufacturing, boatyards and other sectors, please drop Peter Schrappen a line (Peter@Nmta.net
 
As for boating and fishing, which can begin anew on May 5 in a limited fashion, here are some resources and guidelines that the governor, State Parks, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Boat US have shared with us. 

  • Updated list from State Parks on what marine parks are open and closed (HERE
  • Info from WDFW on fishing opportunities and how to boat safely (LINK)
  • Infographic that you can post from Boat US on safe boating (LINK)

We're excited to be launching a robust digital advertising campaign this week that will run for a month promoting boating and letting the public know that we're back in business. Be sure to look for our ads as you browse the web and social media platforms. We'll also be launching a new website for boaters to go to get all of the information they need to boat responsibly and follow current guidelines. 

Wrapping up here, if you find yourself frustrated that you are not getting the info you need about your business, please contact Peter Schrappen to see how he can help (Peter@Nmta.net). 

Also, don’t forget about the world premier of Seattle Boat Show Live this Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 pm. Waggoner Cruising Guide’s Mark Bunzel will lay out what boating looks like in the near future. Included in this hour-long special event will be sample itineraries and frequently asked questions about boating best practices. You can register here (LINK). 

In them meantime, see you on the water (starting tomorrow),

NMTA Staff

 
 
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