Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken with and heard from small business owners from all across Oregon about the massive economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. In each and every one of our communities, families rely on these businesses in order to keep the lights on and put food on the table, and as we continue to respond aggressively to this pandemic, we have to stand with them.
I’m working hard to give our small and mid-sized businesses the resources they need to continue to support our families and contribute to the vitality of our economy. Last week, I joined a delegation-wide effort to support Governor Brown’s request for an economic disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration (SBA). I’m pleased that this request was approved, giving our small businesses the ability to apply for critical resources as they face closures and layoffs because of their efforts to help contain the spread of the virus.
But many small businesses have also expressed concern that normal SBA loans might not be enough to make it through this unprecedented challenge. That’s why I’m pleased that the third coronavirus emergency relief bill, which is focused on the virus’ economic impacts, includes $350 billion in fully forgivable loans to small businesses — a concept similar to the grant program that I proposed last week. I’ll follow up with you as soon as application information for these grants is available.
I understand that the coronavirus crisis is a daunting, unprecedented challenge for our businesses, and that planning next steps is difficult and anxiety-inducing for many of our business owners. I’ll soon be launching a new webpage full of resources and up-to-date information to help you access the information you need to protect your business, in addition to my general coronavirus webpage that shares the latest developments and ways you can keep your family safe. So keep an eye out for a note from me once the new page has launched, too.
We’re in this together. Please know that I’m going to keep doing everything I can to secure the resources our state needs to get through this.
All my best,