To Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19, City of Seattle to Temporarily Suspend Permitted Events

SEATTLE (March 13, 2020) – To prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Seattle and the Puget Sound region, Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the City of Seattle will suspend all permitted events. These suspensions will remain in effect until at least April 13, pending updated public health guidance. These include farmers markets, cultural events, and street events like block parties. This announcement follows the State and King County’s new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including a prohibition of events with more than 250 people, and a prohibition on events with fewer than 250 people if they don’t meet public health guidance on social distancing and hygiene. Researchers are estimating that there are 1,100 active COVID-19 infections in our region. By early April, the region may see 25,000 people infected if no actions are taken.

“This is a difficult but necessary step to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and continue to implement guidance from our public health experts,” said Mayor Durkan. “In the coming days and weeks, I expect that we will need to continue making hard decisions like this one to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. If we fail to act, the consequences could be devastating. I know this will be tough for our creative community and many individuals, and we will continue to work with cultural organizations and small businesses directly to support them as much as possible during this unprecedented time.”

  1. Events that are scheduled to occur during this timeframe will have the opportunity to reschedule without reapplying for their permit.
  2. Event organizers that choose to cancel, rather than reschedule, will be refunded their permit fees.
  3. Events that are permitted seasonally or annually, like farmers markets, will have their permit reactivated once the suspension of all City permitted events is lifted.

The City will also work to assist farmers markets vendors impacted by COVID-19. The City’s Office of Economic Development has immediately began accepting applications for the expanded Small Business Stabilization Fund. Eligible small businesses can apply by filling out a simple one-page form on OED’s website, and the City’s Small Business Liaisons will conduct targeted outreach and technical assistance to ensure historically underserved communities like immigrants and refugees, communities of color, and business owners who speak a language other than English apply. Once an eligible business owner applies, OED will send financial assistance within one week. Applications and grants for the fund will continue on a rolling basis.