Small Businesses Struggle to Keep Business Open During Coronavirus Outbreak

by Cade Schmidt | Mar 11, 2020

Contact: Egan Orion, Executive Director, Broadway BIA
Phone: 206-478-2527

March 10, 2020

Small Businesses Struggle to Keep Business Open During Coronavirus Outbreak

SEATTLE (March 10, 2020) - Small business owners across Capitol Hill and adjacent neighborhoods, as well as the Broadway Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the GSBA/Capitol Hill Business Alliance will be holding a press conference on the rooftop terrace of Terra Plata at 1501 Melrose Avenue at 2pm on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

The impact of being in the epicenter of a public health crisis creates significant financial challenges for small businesses, forcing several Seattle restaurants to close their doors.  Restaurants in particular are low margin small businesses which means they often don’t have a significant rainy day fund. To keep doors open when business is down 30-90%, business owners may have to decrease worker hours and, in some cases, actually close their doors in the weeks and months ahead.

Representatives of the Broadway BIA and GSBA and their small business members will give overviews of the impact of the Coronavirus crisis to our neighborhood as well as talk about policy remedies that could provide some relief during this uncertain time.

GSBA, CHBA and the Broadway BIA stress the importance of staying safe, most especially if you are from a vulnerable population. However, we encourage you to do your best to continue to find ways to support your locally owned small business. This crisis will end at some point, and when it does, what businesses are left in our communities will depend largely on what policy makers and the community do to help bridge this crisis.

This outbreak affects us all. It is disruptive at best and deadly at its most extreme. What we can do is be thoughtful in our decisions, stay informed with facts from reliable sources, check on your neighbors, support your local businesses and act compassionately to those you interact with.

We are grateful to our Governor and Mayor for looking at how best to find resources to ensure our response is large enough in scope so that our communities will be able to weather this extraordinary event.  With new information being released hourly, it is essential that we have accurate information, needed supplies, public health readiness and financial relief to those whose jobs, businesses and livelihoods are at great risk.  We applaud Mayor Durkan for creating the Small Business Recovery Task Force and a recovery package including the deferral of B&O taxes for eligible businesses, expansion of the small business stabilization fund, assistance to access SBA loans and relief for utility payments. We cannot always prevent major disasters but we can be prepared to handle them in ways that will decrease long-term impact.


If you would like more information or photos of the participants, please contact Cade Schmidt (He/him), GSBA Marketing Specialist or call 206-363-9188.

GSBA is Washington State’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce, and the largest LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce in North America. They represent over 1,400 small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of advancing equality and diversity in the workplace. For more about GSBA, visit

The Broadway Business Improvement Area (BIA) is the second oldest BIA in the City of Seattle. It was formed in 1986 by business owners in Capitol Hill’s historic commercial district to raise funds to clean sidewalks, hang flower baskets and banners, advertise and fund events and programs. It was expanded in 2014 by City Ordinance 124514 to include Broadway businesses between Pike and Roy Street E.