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.
- Support CorvallUS – the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Corvallis Custom to create an apparel line that proudly shows your support for your community during these trying times. ALL PROFITS WILL GO DIRECTLY to the Corvallis Sewing Brigade as they produce masks for those workers
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)
EDO News & Updates
- Benton County Back to Business Guide – Quick, concise, and easy to read back to business guide for Benton County businesses. Special thanks to our friends in Lane Co. for allowing us to recreate their original publication for our Benton County businesses.
- Back to Business Feature Videos – Are you implementing a creative or unique reopening strategy for your business? WE WANT TO KNOW! We are launching a new video series in which we will be spotlighting local businesses who are getting creative during Phase 2 reopening. If you would like your business to be featured, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- EDO & Partners Featured in the Corvallis Gazette-Times – covered the awesome economic efforts happening in the region and local businesses contributing to the needs of our medical community!
- Business Support by Corvallis Police Department (CPD) – Following up on inquiries from businesses about CPD presence and watching over closed businesses, we were able to create a coordinated response from our office and CPD to assure businesses, especially downtown, that CPD is on this and considers it to be a priority.
- Business Security Screenings – We also shared out information about the service that businesses may find useful. With a couple days’ notice The Community Livability Unit (CLU) officers can come do a quick security screening for a business. This is a 20-minute visit where an officer will do a quick walk through with the business or building owner and provide some thoughts and tips on how to have a safe, secured building or business. If folks are interested in this service, they can email the CLU at Community.Livability@corvallisoregon.gov or call the non-emergency number at 541-766-6911 and ask for the CLU to schedule a visit.
Reopening Framework for Oregon
- Benton County Enters Phase 2 – Benton County received notification from the State of Oregon that our application to move into Phase 2 reopening has been approved. Benton County will move into Phase 2 on Friday, June 5.
- For sector guidance please visit the Governor’s web page.
- Benton County Phased Reopening Concerns Form – In order to help Benton County stay open, it is important that businesses adhere to reopening guidance. The County’s Emergency Operations Center has put together a resource for the community to submit concerns regarding businesses who are not following current guidance.
Please note the following details about this resource:
- Each submission will be reviewed by a staff member in the Emergency Operations Center.
- Emergency Operations Center Staff will follow up with businesses within 72 hours.
- Community members will only be contacted on the status of their submission if they provide their contact information.
- Community members will receive one update on the status; they will not be receiving ongoing communication on the status of the business and their adherence to the guidanceIt is important to note that in most cases the County and Emergency Operations Center will be taking an educational approach to reaching out to businesses. In the sectors where the County has regulatory authority, the County will continue to exercise that authority
- 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.
- Corvallis – Benton County Printable Signage for Businesses– Free printable signage for local businesses in English and Spanish
Webinars, Town Halls & Podcasts
- Let’s Keep Connected– The Let’s Keep Connected (LKC) partnership was created to support and connect businesses during the COVID 19 crisis and through the long term recovery process. Businesses and support providers across Oregon are welcome and encouraged to participate in and contribute to our activities and events. These are currently being held 2 times weekly, Tues/Thurs at 11:30am.
- Summaries of each meeting will be posted here for those unable to tune in live or watch back.
- Latino SBDC – Hispanic advisors at the Oregon SBDC have created a Facebook page to communicate with Spanish speaking business owners. Conversations are hosted on ZOOM and streaming via Facebook. Questions prior to the call as well as requests for future topics can be made via email to email@example.com
- The Clark Howard Podcast – Our office has found their recent interviews and observations of PPP and EIDL interesting and helpful to small businesses.
Loan & Grant Opportunities
CARES Act Programs
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – Business ORegon makes CDBG available for COVID-19 response. Approximately $3.7 million is now available for communities impacted by COVID-19, including for small business assistance and projects that prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic.
- 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. BREAKING > Funds
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans Still Available – There is still PPP money available to help small businesses so there is still certainly an opportunity to apply for PPP loan with participating PPP Lenders.
- FAQ Updated 5/6 >> with information about employees laid off, seasonal employees and non-profit hospitals.
- Find a lender >>
- Non-Bank Funders Doing PPP – For those who do not currently have a bank, or their bank is not offering PPP, Paypal, Intuit, Lendio, and Nav are additional options for small businesses.
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Application – The Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury released Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness applications. Borrowers can find instructions and the PPP loan forgiveness application.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Updated Eligibility – SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. The EIDL application for agricultural businesses is available here.
- Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
- SBA Office of Disaster Assistance will continue to process applications that were submitted before April 15, 2020. Call 1-800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- PPP loans, EIDL advances, SBA loan subsidies not subject to CAT
Farm & Agricultural Programs
- USDA Business & Industry Loan Guarantees – program that offers loan guarantees to rural businesses.
- American Farmland Trust (AFT) Farmer Relief Fund – Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. (Spanish)
- 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.
- Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) Small Business Stabilization Fund – will provide funds to nonprofit organizations in Oregon that provide loans or grants to small businesses particularly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. Small businesses are not eligible to receive grants.
- Affiliated Tribe of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation Covid-19 Response Emergency Forgivable Loan – With support from the Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation has established an Emergency Forgivable Loan to assist Native-owned small businesses with COVID-19 relief efforts. Emergency Forgivable Loans will range from $1,000 up to $5,000. Funds are limited, and most loans will likely be $1,000 to $2,000. Actual loan amount will be determined by the loan review committee. Closes June 1.
- 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.
Local, State & Federal Announcements & Resources
- City of Corvallis COVID-19 Related Closures & Announcements – find the most recent public information available from the City of Corvallis.
- Benton County Recovers: COVID-19 Response – This site is designed to facilitate community preparedness and recovery in Benton County, Oregon. Residents can request help or sign up to donate and volunteer.
- 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.
- 5 Ways to Help Coronavirus Recovery in Corvallis – Our friends at Visit Corvallis compiled a list of ways community members can support businesses and fellow community members during the coronavirus crisis.
- Department of Revenue Eases Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) – Beginning immediately, Revenue has revised OAR 150-317-1300, dated April 27, 2020, to reflect a change in the threshold for making estimated tax payments from $5,000 of annual tax liability to $10,000 of annual tax liability for the first year of the tax. This means businesses that will owe less than $10,000 are not required to make quarterly estimated tax payments during 2020. If you have any questions about how the revisions may affect your business, the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce recommends reaching out to tax experts at Stover, Neyhart, Yee & Co.
- PPP loans, EIDL advances, SBA loan subsidies not subject to CAT – The Oregon Department of Revenue has determined that certain federal assistance to businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not commercial activity under Oregon statute and will not be subject to the Corporate Activity Tax. The exempt assistance includes forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) emergency advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan subsidies.
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
- 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.
- Benton County COVID Connection – This site highlights the current needs of Benton County, Oregon nonprofits, and the people they serve, during the COVID-19 crisis. We focus on emerging challenges being faced by the nonprofit community, and how people can help.
- Reopening Guidance from the National Restaurant Association – to restaurant operators getting ready to reopen. The National Restaurant Association partnered with representatives of the Food and Drug Administration, academia, the Conference for Food Protection, Ecolab, public health officials and industry representatives to develop a set of opening and operating guidelines to help restaurants return to full operation safely when the time comes.
- 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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