How To Stay Safe & Support Benton County Businesses
Our office, and local partners, like the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Corvallis Association, Visit Corvallis, Philomath Chamber of Commerce, Business Association of Monroe, Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and Corvallis Business Network are closely monitoring all recommendations and updates from the Oregon Governor’s Office, and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We are prioritizing appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We know that everyone is doing their part to stay safe. At the same time, we encourage you to remember our many businesses throughout the region and continue to support them even if you cannot visit them physically.
Many local businesses are taking the extra steps necessary to ensure their spaces are clean & safe for customers. Follow public health guidelines (as outlined in the links above) regarding social distancing and proper health etiquette when visiting businesses and public spaces.
If you are not able to visit stores and restaurants physically, there are many things you can still do to support local business, including, but not limited to:
- Shop online or via phone. Many retailers have online shopping available.
- Purchase custom or corporate gifts from retailers who can handle orders over the phone or online.
- If you typically order wholesale products with local retailers later in the year, place your orders now, if you can.
- If you do not need anything specific, but still want to support a business or restaurant, buy gift cards to spend later.
- For restaurants, order takeout or delivery and tip the same amount as you would dining in.
- Share, like, and leave reviews for your favorite local businesses on their Facebook, Yelp, or Google profiles.
First and foremost, take health and safety precautions for yourself and others in our community. The vibrancy of our community depends on all of us working together and supporting the many businesses that keep our region thriving. (credit: Portland Business Alliance)
Shop/Support Local Business
- Corvallis Savings Pass– Visit Corvallis has developed an online savings passport that we are promoting to out-of-town travelers, visiting groups and locals alike! This mobile-exclusive savings passport features Corvallis businesses and there is no cost to you to participate in the program. Check out who is already participating >>
- IOU Corvallis – A community-sourced fund that provides meals for folks who need a boost, business to restaurants, and security to our friends and neighbors. IOU Corvallis is back up and running during the two-week freeze!
- Built Oregon Marketplace – Give the gift of Oregon. Oregon makers, growers and producers with shelf-stable products can sign up to sell on this online platform. Built Oregon works to support and accelerate the founders and companies through the state, and create inclusive opportunities to the next generation of entrepreneurs. You can sign your business up for the platform here >>
- Shop Small Downtown Corvallis Passport Program – Shoppers will be able to pick up a FREE Shop Small Passport from any of the participating businesses (Provided by the DCA) and can earn a stamp by spending at least $10 at participating locations. Customers who collect 7 or more stamps from these businesses may then turn their completed passport in to be entered into a drawing for a Downtown Gift Basket.
- Oregon2Go – a free online resource and marketing opportunity for restaurants to market their takeout and delivery options.
Reopening Framework for Oregon
- West Coast Travel Advisory – As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued travel advisories today urging visitors entering their states or returning home from travel outside these states to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country, and encourage residents to stay local.
- OSHA COVID-19 Temporary Rule – New protections against the spread of coronavirus in Oregon workplaces went into effect. Oregon OSHA now will require employers to take a series of steps, some phased in, to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Here is what you need to know >>
- #MaskUpOR Toolkit – These toolkits were created to assist you in building social media campaigns for Oregonians about relevant health and safety measures currently in place. Browse and download any toolkits you may find helpful for you and your community.
Loan & Grant Opportunities
- Business & Industry CARES Act Program – Agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under this program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Application deadline: September 15, 2021, or until funds are expended.
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act – This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.
- Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments Business Lending – New loans available to assist your business in responding to and recovering from COVID-19. See if you are eligible and apply here.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – SBA is currently accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. Apply now >>
Farm & Agricultural Programs
- USDA Business & Industry Loan Guarantees – program that offers loan guarantees to rural businesses.
- SBA Disaster Loan Assistance – SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
- Export Promotion Grants – Business Oregon’s trade services team also offers grants to Oregon exporters (manufacturers and service providers) for website localization in foreign countries, market development (B2B partner searches), virtual trade shows, and more. Export Promotion Grants reimburse up to 50% of a company’s eligible expenses up to $10,000. Eligible applicants may apply to receive up to three grants per federal fiscal year.
- Main Street Lending Program – The Federal Reserve has announced that it is establishing a Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Main Street loans are not forgivable.
- Energy Trust of Oregon Incentive Bonuses- To help make energy-efficiency upgrades more affordable, Energy Trust of Oregon is offering incentive bonuses. Savings from energy-efficient upgrades often pay for the improvements in just a few years, meaning a faster return on investment. (Spanish)
Local, State & Federal Announcements & Resources
- City Eases Parking/Right-of-Way Spaces for Businesses
- City Eases Restriction of Parking Lot Usage – Under the new measure, businesses can use vehicle storage space for outdoor operations, such as dining or merchandising, so long as 50% of the required spaces remain available for vehicle parking.
- Business Use of Right-of-Way Permit Program – Restaurants
and retail businesses to use the public parking spaces adjacent to structures in which they are located for the purpose of providing outdoor seating, queuing or shopping areas.
- City of Corvallis COVID-19 Related Closures & Announcements – find the most recent public information available from the City of Corvallis.
- Benton County Health Department – Daily updates and recommendations on COVID-19 in Benton County (Spanish)
- Small Business Resource Navigator – Business Oregon, alongside the Oregon Employment Department, the Oregon Secretary of State, and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services compiled the below information to assist Oregon small businesses dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.
- USDA COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide – USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. (Spanish)
- Independent Contractor’s Guide to the CARES Act – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a new guide (Spanish) to help independent contractors and self-employed individuals secure funding under the CARES Act. The guide provides step-by-step assistance to help individuals understand eligibility requirements, borrowing limits, and appropriate use of funds under the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
WARN's, Layoffs & Closures
- Any businesses with questions about making layoffs contact: Heather Desart, Executive Director, Northwest Oregon Works, email@example.com, 541-921-7311
- WARN: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification – In general, employers are covered by the WARN Act if they have 100 or more employees. The WARN Act offers protection to workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers to provide notice by requiring that employers give a 60-day notice to the affected employees and both state and local representatives prior to a plant closing or mass layoff. A list of companies filing WARNS can be found here.
- IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief – special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.
- Workshare Oregon – provides an alternative for employers and workers who may be facing the prospect of a layoff situation
- Oregon Employment Department – providing general guidance to employers, workers, and job seekers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
COVID-19 Support, Tips & Best Practices
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Sources – A list of PPE manufacturers or distributors Business Oregon has collected that may be helpful for Oregon small businesses to source from as they ready to reopen. These companies have provided the information to Business Oregon, but we have not independently verified company capabilities or inventories. Understand also inventories will certainly fluctuate.
- COVID-19 Resources for Businesses – Business Oregon, alongside the Oregon Employment Department, the Oregon Secretary of State, and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services compiled the information on this page to assist Oregon small business owners, employees, and others dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.
- Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association Safety Checklist– checklists providing safety strategies and protocols for restaurants and lodging properties
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Best Practices for Business – Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Business Oregon COVID-19 Resources for Business – Resources for Oregon businesses looking for assistance in the event of local, regional, or statewide economic impacts due to identified disasters.
- Business Oregon Business Survival Tips – tips for business survival during a pandemic. Find Spanish translation here.
- Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) Support for Oregon Manufacturers – OMEP announced new resources to support Oregon manufacturers who face challenges associated with Covid-19.
- OSU Small Farms, Local Food & COVID-19: What do you need to know? – Faculty in the OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food systems are working with community partners to provide current information that is relevant for small farms and local food systems.
- Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Building Resilience “Virtual Village” – The personal lifestyle changes we make and strong community connections we develop in response to COVID-19 may be exactly what are needed as we prepare for the impacts of climate change. This site offers space to share resources that will make us more resilient.
- If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.’
- Reopen Main Street: Resources & Ideas for Reopening – Reopen Main Street has compiled a variety of resources on its website, including potential reopening strategies, ideas, hints and tips for businesses, business districts and organizations as they enter the COVID-19 recovery phase.
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