Best of Bellevue: Supporting Our Small Business Community
SUPPORTING OUR SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Some of our larger businesses have the ability and technology tools to assist smaller businesses that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. We are heartened to see the peer support in our business community. This support shows an important recognition that a diverse business community is critical to the resiliency of our entire community.
Amazon has established a Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund, which will provide assistance for small businesses with a physical presence near Amazon's buildings in South Lake Union and/or downtown Bellevue. Amazon has more than 2,000 employees in Bellevue.
Facebook has established a Small Business Grants Program to assist businesses in addressing the impacts of COVID-19, and is actively pushing information to local businesses through its push-notification system. Facebook recently joined the Bellevue community with offices downtown, and will be moving into a new office in the Spring District soon.
Microsoft has taken a comprehensive approach to its COVID-19 response. In addition to efforts to support its employees and contractors, it has contributed $1 million to the regional COVID-19 response effort led by the Seattle Foundation. Microsoft has more than 8,500 employees in Bellevue.
Symetra’s Care and Feeding Program partners with locally owned restaurants to make and deliver 10,000 meals to homeless shelters and hospitals. Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company based in downtown Bellevue.
Puget Sound Energy
Bellevue based Puget Sound Energy is making $11 million in funds available to help who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through its Crisis-Affected Customer Assistance Program (CACAP).
Republic Services launched “Committed to Serve” a $20 Million Initiative to recognize their 28,000 frontline employees in the field who are serving customers every day, while also helping to support small business customers and communities across the nation. Republic Services provides gift cards and meals to employees and their families that are purchased from local, small businesses. Additionally, Republic Services is donating $3 million to their charitable foundation to fund long-term nonprofit partners that are working to rebuild, revitalize and restore the places where we live and work.
Salesforce has established a $5 million small business grant fund. The Salesforce Care Small Business Grant program offers $10,000 grants to U.S. small businesses to provide capital to help them weather the COVID-19 crisis. The Washington State application period opens April 27 and closes May 4. Learn more. Salesforce has a large office presence in Bellevue.
Verizon has pledged $2.5 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a non-profit that will use Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19. Verizon will unlock an additional $2.5 million as viewers use the hashtag #PayItForwardLIVE and tag their local businesses, bringing the total donation up to $5 million. Verizon’s regional headquarters is located in Bellevue.
Zeacon, a Bellevue based app company that provides unique event and experiences has pivoted their business model to support local businesses with the Creation of Zeacon Boxes. Zeacon Boxes provide a safe and innovative way for individuals to continue supporting their favorite businesses without leaving home. Each box is hand-curated in partnership with businesses in the Greater Seattle Area. Boxes include culinary experiences, hands-on art projects, innovative indoor fun, and more.