Jul 10, 2023 - Business

Seattle extends COVID-era rules for home-based businesses

Illustration of office chair on a “welcome” home mat

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Seattle.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Seattle stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Seattle.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more