Businesses and Workers

We recognize the tremendous impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and related directives are having on local businesses, their employees and customers. This page is intended to provide support for businesses and workers through information and resources.  

Clark County in Phase 2 

Governor Inlsee announced modifications to Phase 2 guidance, effective July 30, 2020.  View the entire plan here and details in the Latest News & Updates section below. 

Safe Start Plan Chart as of October 7 (select to enlarge)

Safe Start Phases Chart Effective October 7

Updated Safe Start Plan as of October 7, 2020 (select to open)

Safe Start Washington

Latest News & Updates

October 21, 2020
Additional COVID-19 Relief Grants for Clark County Businesses: 
Application opens Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 9:00 am. Using CARES Act dollars, the County has funded an additional round of $8.1 million in grants to support Clark County businesses and nonprofits with up to 100 employees. The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is collaborating with the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) to administer the new grant, which will provide additional funds of up to $30,000 for each business or nonprofit to support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Funds can be used to cover expenses incurred from March 1st through November 30, 2020.  Read more here.

October 7, 2020
Updates to Safe Start Plan

These guidelines will align regulations with that of museums, allowing some indoor activity in Phase 2 at 25% capacity. Read the full guidance here

Youth/Adult Sports
These guidelines will align school related and non-school related sports guidance. Tournaments and crowds are prohibited in counties that aren’t in the low-risk category, but these guidelines will allow more school and non-school sports, both indoor and outdoor, according to a combination of local metrics. These metrics are aligned with state metrics for school opening recommendations. It also provides specific protocols for transportation, group size and facial coverings. Read the full guidance here

Movie Theaters
These guidelines will allow for occupancy in Phase 2 at 25% and 50% in Phase 3. Theater attendees will be required to maintain a 6 feet social distance between households and to wear facial coverings at all times when not eating and drinking. Read the full guidance here

These guidelines will move alcohol cutoff from 10 PM to 11 PM for Phases 2 and 3, as well as eliminates the indoor household member restriction for indoor dining. Additionally, the guidelines will allow for the increase of table size to six in Phase 2 and eight in Phase 3. Read the full guidance here

Wedding Receptions
These guidelines will increase the total number of wedding reception attendees to 50 in Phase 3.Read the full guidance here

Retail Events (craft sales shows, etc.)
These guidelines will expand the miscellaneous venues guidance to allow outdoor retail event shows in Phase 3 only, capping attendance to 200 people. Read the full guidance here

Real Estate
These guidelines will allow for open houses, but limit attendance by the counties' gathering size limit in accordance to their Phase. Read the full guidance here

Outdoor recreation (running/bicycling/etc.)
These guidelines will provide protocols for Phases 2 and 3 for races, bicycle tours and rides, runs, cross country skiing races, biathlons, canoe and kayak races, marathons, cross country running competitions, triathlons, and multi-sport competitions with more than 12 participants. Read the memo here. Read the full guidance here

Water Recreation Facilities
This guidance updates the current guidance for water recreational activities and facilities in Modified Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 counties. Read the memo here. Read the full guidance here.

October 6, 2020
Community Small Business Resiliency Grant Program
The State Department of Commerce is using $5 million of federal CARES Act funds for small business grants. Successful grant applicants will be eligible for up to $10,000.  Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have been in operation since at least March 1, 2019.
  • Have no more than 20 payroll (full-time or part-time) employees as of March 1, 2020.
  • Be licensed as a Washington State business in good standing with state and federal agencies.

Applications, available here, are being accepted through noon on October 28, 2020


October 1, 2020
Funding for Food Establishments 
Clark County is providing CARES funding to restaurants, mobile food carts, food event vendors, caterers, and bed & breakfasts that have been impacted by the public health measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Funding will be disbursed to eligible food establishments in the amount paid for their 2020 retail food permit. Owners can use the money at their discretion toward any operational expenses. Additional information and application is here. Applications are due by October 31. Funds will be disbursed by November 30.

September 17, 2020
Weddings & Funerals
Governor Inslee updated guidance allowing wedding and funeral receptions to resume, as long as they meet specific requirements. See the updated guidance here.

  • Receptions and ceremonies must be capped at 30 people, or 25% of venue occupancy, whichever is less
  • All tables at the reception must be seated by household, with table sizes capped at 5 people
  • Facial coverings are required, and social distancing must be maintained

September 2, 2020
CREDC announces new grant funding available for Clark County businesses.
CREDC is accepting applications for the Clark County Main Street Support Program now through September 12. The program will provide grants of up to $10k each for businesses in Clark County impacted by COVID-19. Eligible for business with 10- 20 employees. Grant may be used to reimburse rent expense.  View full edibility criteria and apply here

September 1, 2020
Mercy Corps – Clark County Small Business Relief Grant
*SEPT 11 UPDATE - Application deadlines extended from September 12 to September 25*
Mercy Corps Northwest has partnered with Clark County to distribute grants to entrepreneurs facing financial hardship through a new small business relief grant program. Eligible businesses are those with low to moderate income that have five or fewer employees. The program encourages minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses to apply. Mercy Corps Northwest plans to distribute the grants before the end of October. 

Applications for the grant will open on September 8 at 9 a.m. to September 25 at 5 p.m.  Grants will be awarded from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $10,000.  Lean more and apply here.  

August 3, 2020
Governor Inslee announced updates to Phase 2 and Phase 3 Indoor Fitness and Training COVID-19 Reopening Requirements effective August 10, 2020. The update, available here, includes:

  • Clarification on when facial coverings are required in indoor fitness facilities
  • Changes to calculation of occupancy limits for large facilities
  • Allowance for fitness and sports training other than group fitness classes

July 31, 2020
Governor Inslee announces updates and clarifications to July 24 guidance.

  • Restaurants, Taverns, Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries:  See updated guidance and related memo.
  • Overnight Group Summer Camps and Similar Activities:  See updated guidance  and related memo
  • View entire list of industry specific Reopening Guidance for Businesses & Workershere.

He also announced the extension (until September 1, 2020) of 25 proclamations in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. See the governor's proclamation page here.

July 29, 2020
Second round of funds to small businesses available soon: The Washington State Department of Commerce announces a doubling of funds available to very small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the Working Washington Small Business emergency grant program. New funds are from the state’s $200 million emergency response fund approved by the Legislature in March. A summary and map of grant recipients is available on Commerce’s website. Five Battle Ground-area businesses received funds from the program.   


July 28, 2020
Governor releases memo regarding modifications to Safe Start Plan:  The memo serves to a) revise the maximum limits of individuals participating in gatherings, b) prohibit live entertainment in Phases 1 through 3 and all modified phases of the Safe Start Plan, and c) adjust various other provisions of the Safe Start Plan. View the memo here.

July 23, 2020 
Modifications to Safe Start Plan:  Governor Inslee extends and modifies Safe Start proclamation. See details here and a summary below. The changes encourage fewer, shorter and safer interaction.  

  • Restaurants: Beginning July 30 and until Phase 4, indoor dining is limited to members of the same household; alcohol service must end by 10 pm; vending game areas (pool tables, darts, video games, etc.) are closed. In addition, bars are closed for indoor seating beginning July 30. (In Phase 3, table size is reduced to 5 people and restaurant occupancy is reduced to 50% capacity.)  Read updated guidance for restaurants/taverns here.
  • Fitness Guidance: Only five individuals (not counting staff) are allowed for indoor fitness services. They can participate in group fitness classes or exercise on their own. (In Phase 3, occupancy reduced to 25% and classes limited to 10 people.)
  • Wedding and funerals (secular or non-secular): Beginning August 6 and in all phases, the maximum indoor occupancy is 20% capacity or up to 30 people, which is less, as long as physical distancing is maintained between households; only ceremonies are permitted (no receptions).
  • Face coverings: The order requiring face coverings now extends to all shared spaces (not just those open to the public). This includes condo and apartment hallways, hotel hallways, and shared spaces in university housing and long-term care facilities This is effective July 25. See the updated facial covering order here.
  • No indoor family entertainment/recreational centers (mini golf, bowling alleys, arcades, etc.) until Phase 4.
  • No indoor card rooms until Phase 4. Read updated guidance for card rooms here
  • In Phase 3, movie theaters occupancy limited to 25% capacity.

Governor Inslee also announced the extension of the eviction moratorium through October 15 See the proclamation here.

July 22, 2020
Thermometers Available: The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is offering free non-contact infrared thermometers for eligible businesses and other essential workplaces with a high degree of person-to-person interaction. Supply is limited. Interested businesses are required to submit a request though this survey link.

July 16, 2020
SBA resumes Payroll Protection Program (PPP): The program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020. The new deadline to apply for a PPP loan is August 8, 2020. Information on the program can be found here.

July 2, 2020
Businesses must Require Face Coverings: Governor Inslee and Secretary of Health Wiesman announce a statewide requirement for businesses to require face coverings of all employees and customers, effective July 7. 

June 15, 2020
Preparing for Phase 3 of Safe Start Plan
Each business or entity operating in Phase 3 of Safe Start Washington, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19 that is at least as protective as the requirements from the Department of Labor & Industry found here. A business may fill out Washington’s Safety Plan template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

June 8, 2020
Clark County approved for Phase 2 of Safe Start plan: Businesses approved to reopen in Phase 2 are required follow industry-specific guidance issued by the Governor.  Businesses and industries eligible to reopen in Phase 2 include hair and nail salons, barbershops, real estate, pet grooming and new construction, among others. Retail stores can open for in-store purchases and restaurants can resume dine-in services with limitations on the number of diners.

June 3, 2020
Proactive Steps to Manage Inactive Private Water Systems & Building Plumbing
If your business location has been closed to the public or had had reduced staffing levels due to COVID-19 related orders, we recommend proactive steps to protect public and employee health by following state and federal guidelines for addressing water quality in plumbing systems.