COVID-19 Small Business Resources
Business survival and retention is a top priority. We all want to emerge from the other side of this with the ability o restore our businesses, livelihoods, and economy.
Reaching out countywide, Columbia County Economic Team will be communicating with you regularly.
Please bookmark us and visit often for updates.
Columbia Economic Team 2021 Annual Report
August 10, 2021
Governor Kate Brown Announces New Statewide Measures to Address Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations
All State of Oregon executive branch employees required to be fully vaccinated
New modeling from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) projects that, without new health and safety interventions in place, COVID-19 hospitalizations will far exceed Oregon’s health system capacity in the next several weeks. According to modeling from OHSU, without these additional mitigation measures, Oregon could be as many as 500 staffed hospital beds short of what will be needed to treat patients hospitalized for any reason by September.
“Oregon is facing a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations––consisting overwhelmingly of unvaccinated individuals––that is quickly exceeding the darkest days of our winter surge,” said Governor Brown. “When our hospitals are full, there will be no room for additional patients needing care––whether for COVID-19, a heart attack or stroke, a car collision, or a variety of other emergency situations. If our hospitals run out of staffed beds, all Oregonians will be at risk.
“There are two keys to saving lives. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. And, by wearing masks, all of us––vaccinated and unvaccinated––can help ensure that a hospital bed staffed by health professionals is available for our loved ones in their time of need. If we all do our part, we can beat COVID-19 once and for all, keep our economy open and thriving, and return our kids to the classroom with minimal disruptions in a few weeks.”
All State of Oregon executive branch employees required to be fully vaccinated
Governor Brown announced today that all State of Oregon executive branch employees will be required to be fully vaccinated on or before October 18, or six weeks after a COVID-19 vaccine receives full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whichever is later.
The requirement will apply to all executive branch employees, including employees working for all Oregon state agencies, and in consultation with Oregon’s statewide elected officials, employees of the Oregon State Treasury and the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, as well as employees of the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries and the Oregon Department of Justice. Employees will be required to show proof of vaccination by the deadline. Individuals unable to be vaccinated due to disability or sincerely held religious belief may be able to qualify for an exception, as required by state and federal law. State of Oregon employees will not have the option of weekly testing instead of showing proof of vaccination.
“Vaccines are safe and effective, and they are the surest way to prevent Oregonians from ending up in intensive care units,” said Governor Brown. “I am taking action to help ensure State of Oregon workplaces are safe for employees and customers alike, and I am strongly encouraging all public and private employers to follow suit by requiring vaccination for their employees. The only way we can stop the spread of COVID-19 for good is through vaccination.”
The vaccination requirement does not apply to employees of Oregon’s legislative and judicial branches of government, though the Governor is encouraging the leadership of both branches to consider a similar requirement.
Governor to hold press conference tomorrow, August 11, to announce new statewide indoor mask requirements
Governor Brown also announced she will be holding a press conference tomorrow, August 11, to announce new statewide indoor mask requirements. The Governor’s Office will send a media advisory with RSVP information for the media later this afternoon.
“The latest science is clear: although unvaccinated individuals are more likely to contract the disease, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can spread the Delta variant. Masks are a simple and effective way to make sure you are not unknowingly infecting your friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues. After a year and a half of this pandemic, I know Oregonians are tired of health and safety restrictions. This new mask requirement will not last forever, but it is a measure that can save lives right now. It will help to protect all of us, including people who are immunocompromised, and our children under 12 who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated. Masks are a simple and effective tool that will keep our schools, businesses, and communities open.”
Click here for more mask information.
OHA launches COVID-19 vaccine dashboard showing the status of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination effort. The dashboard will provide daily updates on the number of people partially and fully vaccinated, along with key demographic information showing race, ethnicity, sex and age of everyone immunized.
The dashboard also shows information by county.
Masks, face shields and face coverings are currently required statewide for indoor public spaces (for example, grocery stores, pharmacies, public transit, personal services providers, restaurants, bars, retail stores, and more). In addition, face coverings are required in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing is not possible.
Children age 5 and up are required to wear a face covering. People with a disability or medical condition may request accommodation from the business if they cannot wear one.
Governor Kate Brown Releases School Health and Safety Metrics
Updated guidance for schools is released
As part of its planned guidance and metrics review process with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released an update to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance.
The updated guidance includes updated advisory metrics for in-person instruction. The metrics are based on the latest COVID-19 studies and data and help Oregon’s schools make informed decisions about returning to in-person instruction.
While health metrics have shifted from required to advisory, schools must follow all the required guidelines. All staff must be trained on the first three sections of Ready Schools, Safe Learners and schools need to designate a school leader to implement, support and enforce health and safety protocols.
A new requirement, that when students and staff return to in-person instruction out of alignment with the advised metrics, schools must offer access to on-site COVID-19 testing for symptomatic students and staff identified on campus as well as those with known exposure to individuals with COVID-19.
The update also includes multiple new resources to support learning outside, field trips, equitable grading practices, attendance best practices, contact tracing partnerships, COVID-19 testing, and more.
A video of ODE Director Colt Gill explaining the updates is available.
Updated guidance will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov.
UPDATE: PPP Loans
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2021-20 PDF for certain businesses that received first-round Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans but did not deduct any of the original eligible expenses on their tax return because they relied on guidance issued before the enactment of tax relief legislation in December of 2020.
Under prior guidance, businesses that received PPP loans to cover payroll costs, interest on covered mortgage obligations, covered rent obligation payments, and covered utility payments could not deduct corresponding expenses when reporting business expense deductions.
With the Dec. 27, 2020, enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, businesses now may claim these deductions even though they received PPP loans to cover original eligible expenses. These businesses can use the safe harbor provided by this guidance to deduct those expenses on the return for the immediately subsequent year.
More information is available here.
Phase Two Reopening Guidance
This information has been updated effective August 13, 2020. We will continue to keep this page updated as we receive new information.
Coronavirus Funding Options
Facebook Small Business Grant Program – Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate. The application process is not open yet and we will share more details as they become available.
Pamplin Media Marketing Grant – Pamplin Media has established a $1million marketing grant fund to assist local businesses with their advertising during these challenging times.
Restaurant Employee Relief Funds
Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Small Business Navigator
Small Business Solutions Video Series courtesy of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce
SBA Guidance & Resources
Small Business Development Center Resources
The PCC SBDC is available to assist you in assessing the appropriate actions for your business. Please email: email@example.com if you need assistance in this planning process, or if you have any questions regarding the guidelines.
Information for Employers
State of Oregon Employment Department- The health and safety of workplaces is of utmost importance to the Oregon Employment Department. This information provides general guidance to employers, workers, and job seekers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
This web page will be updated as more information becomes available. The Oregon Employment Department is working with partner agencies nationwide and the U.S. Department of Labor to ask for additional unemployment benefits options related to COVID-19.
Columbia County Worksource Office: 503-397-4995.
Please note: The office is currently staffed to receive phone calls but the lobby is not open to the general public.
Reduced Hours via Workshare. Work Share provides an alternative for larger employers who may be facing the prospect of a lay off situation. With Work Share, instead of reducing staff, an employer reduces the hours of work for a group of workers. Partial Unemployment Insurance benefits are then paid to supplement workers’ reduced wages.
Permanent Layoffs: Rapid Response Assistance – If you are considering a long-term or permanent layoff of workers, contact the WorkSource center for rapid response assistance. Local Rapid Response teams can help you navigate through this challenging process and assist with the development and implementation of a transition strategy.
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Below are the recommended strategies for employers to use now:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
- Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.
- Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from designated countries with risk of community spread of Coronavirus, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.
Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Local Partners & Resources
Northwest Oregon Works
Local Credit Unions & Loan Assistance
Wauna is currently providing a variety of low-cost borrowing options, which may help contribute to your ability to cope and maintain the necessities of life for you and your families during and following the coronavirus pandemic:
- 0% Visa Balance Transfer promotion (extended through June 30th , 2020)
- Current Loan Rebate promotion (90 days no payment, $500 cash back)
- EZ$ Loan (up to $1,100)* and EZ$ Premium (up to $2,600)*
- Credit card limit increases
- Current HELOC promotion
SBA Payroll Protection Loan Program – Round Two Applications
- The SBA PPP loan program will again begin accepting applications Monday, April 27.
- We expect this round of funding to again be depleted quickly. Current InRoads business members should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a link to a secure application.
- Completed applications will be processed in the order received although we cannot guarantee funding due to high demand nationwide.
During this unprecedented time, InRoads continues to be a resource for our members and our communities. To help you navigate through any financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve put new programs in place including*:
- Emergency Assistance Loans: A zero interest loan up to $2,500 and no payments for 90 days to assist existing InRoads members to pay bills, rent, cover groceries, or other financial needs. Click here to apply.
- Personal Loans: We’ve lowered the rates on new personal loans to help those who may be seeking a little extra security in their wallets right now. We’re also offering no payments for 90 days. Click here to apply.
- Skip Payment: If you have an existing InRoads loan that qualifies, you may be able to skip payments for two months with no skip payment fee.
- Pay loans by phone: We are currently waiving all pay by phone fees.
- Rewards Checking requirements: We will waive the 10 debit card purchases per cycle requirement to receive rewards during this time.
- Business Assistance Loans: Email us at email@example.com to request assistance with your current InRoads business loan(s) during this time.
Local Business Advocacy and Chambers of Commerce
Local Goverment Resources
Here’s a list of relevant state resources to help navigate your business through this crisis. We’ll keep this page updated and add or remove relevant and timely information as needed.
We encourage you to explore your options, and don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions. We are here for you – let us know how we can help!
National & International Resources
Here’s a list of national resources to help navigate your business through this crisis, and to help you stay informed about COVID-19 at the national level We’ll keep this page updated with timely and relevant information as we receive it.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
U.S. Government Resources
P.O. Box 1653
St Helens, OR 97051