Seattle extends COVID-era rules for home-based businesses
Seattle has permanently adopted another COVID-era tweak, this time one aimed at helping home-based businesses.
Driving the news: The Seattle City Council recently passed Bill 120520, also known as "Bringing Business Home."
- Some of the changes being made permanent include: the elimination of restrictions on the number of non-resident employees; the elimination of restrictions on the number of daily deliveries allowed; and the removal of the requirement that customer visits be by appointment only.
- The measures were first introduced to give home-based businesses the flexibility they needed to continue operating while adhering to COVID-19 safety regulations.
What they're saying: "I see this as a small clean up that reflects the changing times so that the land use code is not a barrier to entrepreneurs turning their dreams into reality," Councilmember Dan Strauss told Axios.
- “We need to support small businesses and micro businesses, providing them the flexibility to operate out of their garages and helping them springboard into brick-and-mortar store fronts," he said.
The big picture: The bill joins a number of other measures that started out as ways to help businesses get through the pandemic but proved helpful and popular beyond their original intent.
- Earlier this year, the state passed a new law that allows bars and restaurants to continue to sell beer, wine, and mixed drinks to-go at least through July while the Liquor Control Board studies the impact.
- And just last week, the city council permanently approved a pandemic-era policy that had temporarily exempted affordable housing from design review, streamlining the building process.
What we're watching: The exact number of businesses affected is not immediately known as the city does not track whether a business is home-based, according to the Office of Economic Development.
- But Strauss said the measure will undoubtedly help incubate many small businesses going forward.
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