Small downtown and South Lake Union businesses struggling through the pandemic are bracing for prolonged pain following Amazon’s announcement that it has extended its work-from-home option to 55,000 Seattle employees. The announcement means that employees of Seattle’s biggest employer can continue working from home through June of 2021.
Many of Seattle’s largest employers have had their employees working from home during the pandemic. This has contributed to significant financial losses for many downtown businesses and the closing of more than 130 street-level stores and restaurants, according to the Downtown Seattle Association.
A cellphone tracking survey cited by the association estimates that daytime worker visits to downtown are down by about two-thirds since the start of the pandemic.
In a Seattle Times report, DSA president Jon Scholes said Congressional approval of additional small business loans and a return of more workers to their downtown offices are needed to prevent future business closures.