COVID-19 Info for Businesses
(Updated March 26, 2020)
The City of Eugene is aware that the responses to concerns over the COVID-19 virus is having a dramatic effect on the local and regional economy. The City is collaborating with local, regional, and state agencies and organizations to provide accurate information and assistance to area employers. This web page is a resource for key information and resources that affect businesses. Please email us if you cannot find the information you need on this webpage.
- Governor's Executive Orders Affect Businesses
- Disaster Relief Resources
- Resources to Support Ongoing Operations
On March 23, 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, which immediately prohibits all non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained.
Retail businesses closed by Executive Order 20-12 include:
- Shopping: Outdoor and indoor malls and retail complexes, although individual types of businesses not subject to the measures may stay open
- Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios
- Grooming: Barbershops, beauty and nail salons, and non-medical wellness spas
- Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, and pool halls
Other retail businesses will not be able to continue to operate unless they can implement strict social distancing measures and designate an employee or officer charged with ensuring compliance. Retail businesses able to adapt to take-out style shopping experiences can also remain open. Read the full details on all businesses listed and how to ensure compliance in the Executive Order.
Activities and businesses that are allowed to continue operations include:
- Hospitals and health care
- Grocery stores
- Banks and Credit Unions
- Take-out/delivery from restaurants and bars
- Pet stores
- Gas stations
- Certain retail stores
- Outdoor activities like walking your dog, jogging, or biking in your neighborhood
- Child care facilities and babysitters (only if abiding by new rules)
Take-out Food Must Be Consumed Off Premises
Oregonians are not allowed to consume take-out food and beverages anywhere on the premises of restaurants, bars, brewpubs, cafes, food carts, food courts and other establishments, according to Governor’s Executive Order No. 20-07. Food and beverages must be consumed off premises. The Governor’s prohibition includes outdoor seating areas where food and beverages are purchased. A Q&A from the Oregon Health Authority addresses this topic.
The Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has a list of restaurants that are offering take-out food services.
Businesses can request the designation of 1-2 parking spots in front of their location to provide a dedicated free parking spot for carry-out customers and/or delivery companies. To request this free service please email firstname.lastname@example.org. See a map of the businesses that are using this service.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA has officially declared that the state of Oregon is eligible for their federal Disaster Loan program. The SBA has set up a COVID-19 Disaster Relief Lending program which offers low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses without credit available elsewhere and non-profits suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.
Here are some general steps we suggest organizations take around financial matters:
- Document the impacts to your business from COVID-19 in preparation for support programs, and
- Talk to your funders about loan options and/or restructuring/deferment of any current loan payments.
Business Impact Survey
The City of Eugene, in partnership with Lane County, Springfield, and the Chambers of Commerce are tracking the impacts of COVID-19 on our business community. Understanding the impacts will help us with our response strategies to focus federal, state, and local business resources. Please fill out our survey, to help these agencies document the extent of the economic impacts: COVID-19 Business Impact Survey.
Lane County’s Business Information web page has information about federal and state resources. The County is primary connection for our region to verify state and federal resources. They are working to keep their website up-to-date.
Eugene Water & Electric Board
EWEB is has implemented measures to support commercial and residential customers experiencing economic hardship. Contact EWEB Customer Service at 541-685-7000 to set up flexible payment arrangements and to suspend late fees. If you have a commercial energy-efficiency loans with EWEB, they are able to defer those loan payments upon request by sending an email to email@example.com.
In responses to the coronavirus, some banks and credit unions are offering loan modifications and reduced interest rates on lines of credit. Banks and credit unions are also delaying or waiving loan fees to help businesses negatively affected by the outbreak. We recommend working with your financial institution to explore refinancing, deferred payments, and other appropriate tools for your situation.
We are aware of some banks that have established specific programs for businesses negatively affected by coronavirus. We do not have a complete list, and recommend individual businesses contact their own lender first. The following banks are offering emergency programs:
- Washington Federal Bank: Businesses with a 10% or greater drop in revenue can apply for up to $200,000 lines of credit, with 90 days interest-free. Expedited processing is available for lines of credit up to $30,000. For more information, email Business.Lifeline@wafd.com.
- Oregon Pacific Bank: Through its Community Emergency Loan Fund, Oregon Pacific Bank has committed to lend up to $5 million to local business and non-profit agencies that are headquartered and operate in Eugene, Florence, Coos Bay, Medford and Roseburg. The funds are to be invested in local communities to reduce the economic impact of COVID-19. Each loan is not to exceed $100,000 or 50% of 2019 sales. The loans will start with 12-months of interest-only payments, with 0% interest for the first 6 months. Visit their Community Emergency Loan Fund for more information.
Small Business Emergency Loan Fund – Lane County Resource
Lane County, the City of Springfield, the City of Eugene, and Community LendingWorks created a Small Business Emergency Loan Fund (SBELF) to help our local businesses weather this storm. Eligible businesses include those with 20 FTE or fewer as of the end of 2019 and located within Lane County. Small businesses may apply for loans up to $30,000 at 2% with no payments for the first six months. Due to high demand, the fund is currently unavailable (as of March 23). However, future funds may come available, so interested businesses should submit an application to be put on the waiting list. Interested businesses can apply at www.communitylendingworks.com.
The Oregon Employment Department is working hard to ensure people have access to the most current guidance for employers, workers, and job seekers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Information continues to change daily, including where and how to apply for unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility requirements. Please visit the department’s COVID-19 employment-related web page for the latest information. This is the primary resource for information about layoffs and unemployment insurance. If it is busy, try again later if you cannot access it.
Lane Workforce Partnership has received additional assistance funding for averting layoffs at small businesses, in response to the COVID-19 situation. The State of Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission Office of Workforce Investments (OWI) has released federal additional assistance funding. Lane Workforce Partnership will distribute Layoff Aversion Funds in Lane County with the following parameters:
- Requests must be a result of the business impact from COVID-19
- Small businesses/organizations with fewer than 20 employees
- Limited to reimbursements for supplies and/or equipment up to $5,000
For more information and to apply, please visit Lane Workforce’s website.
Layoff aversion funds are available to Oregon businesses to creatively respond to this unusual situation. Layoff aversion strategies are designed to prevent or minimize the length of unemployment resulting from layoffs. To access these resources, contact Cindy Perry at the Lane Workforce Partnership, 541-255-8116.
Businesses that are cutting hours of their employees can take advantage of Oregon’s Work Share program, which enables a flexible response to a layoff 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.
For firms that cannot avoid layoffs, business owners should inform their employees in some form of writing that they are closing and all employees are laid off until further notice This provides the workers with documentation to claim unemployment insurance. The Oregon Office of Workforce Investment encourages businesses to file a WARN notice when they are laying off staff. The state is tracking these, so it has a sense of the scope of layoffs and can provide that information to federal agencies.
For Food Service Businesses
Parking Accommodations to Support Carry-Out Customers and Delivery Companies
Effective March 19, 2020, the City of Eugene’s Parking Services reduced enforcement actions to public safety issues only, with a focus on continued support to local residents and business owners. Parking Services created a new service for restaurants and business owners open for carry-out and delivery orders. Businesses can request the designation of 1-2 parking spots in front of their location to provide a dedicated free parking spot for carry-out customers and/or delivery companies. This service is free for the business and parking free for the customers. To request this new service please email firstname.lastname@example.org. See a map of the businesses that are using this service.
Telecommuting and Cyber-Security
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked broadband and telephone service providers to do what they can to keep residents and small businesses connected. Over 400 companies and associations have signed the pledge to not terminate services, waive late fees, and open Wi-Fi hotspots. For more information, visit the Keep Americans Connected website.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the Nation’s risk advisor, working with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborating to build more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future. On March 13, 2020, CISA released an alert encouraging organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity when implementing alternate workplace options for their employees. Remote work options—or telework—require an enterprise virtual private network (VPN) solution to connect employees to an organization’s information technology (IT) network. CISA encourages public and private sector organizations to sign-up for Vulnerability Scanning.
Business Emergency Planning
The Lane Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can help create an emergency plan for businesses and provide guidance on how to document impacts to your business from COVID-19.
SHINE (Sustainability Hub of Interchange Negotiation Experts) will help you create an emergency plan to deal with the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Our experienced staff also will review your current business plan, including an operational assessment and look at management team alignment. SHINE is a program funded through an investment from the Lane Workforce Partnership through state layoff aversion funds.
The Oregon Community Foundation has established the Oregon Community Recovery Grant program to support nonprofits affected by COVID-19. Nonprofit Association of Oregon has collected information to help non-profits affected by COVID-19, including resources for business continuity and funding opportunities.
- Travel Oregon has put together a toolkit for businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries. The toolkit includes communication materials and business resources.
- The Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has multiple resources to help businesses navigate this situation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a small business guide for businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
- Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, offers financial and other guidance on topics such as financing, childcare, and free and discounted business coaching. They have also put together a Survival Tips guide for businesses.
- The City of Eugene offers multiple loan programs and we are working to make those loans flexible, with the intent of provided financing to businesses to cover critical expenses in this unusual situation.
- The Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) has COVID-19 resources, including information on managing supply chains, business continuity and financial resources. OMEP has scheduled an ongoing series of free webinars devoted to COVID-19 and manufacturing. The next webinar is scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, March 27 and covers Emergency Paid Family Medical Leave, furlough and layoff issues, tax credits and workplace social distancing policies.
- The Manufacturing Extension Partnership has COVID-19 resources, including information on managing supply chains, business continuity and financial resources.
- The National Main Street Center is offering a series of webinars to support local businesses and communities. Sessions will cover national policy and best local practices related to Main Street America during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The Oregon Department of Revenue has guidance on COVID-19 tax relief options, with information on the personal and corporate income tax and the corporate activity tax.