Supporting Small Business

Representative Andrea Salinas

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Small businesses are the backbone of our community. From your favorite coffee shop, to the ice cream store you take the kids to after school, to your yoga studio, our local businesses and restaurants are where we create memories and connect with one another. The owners and workers are our neighbors and community members who greet you by name, who generously support school fundraisers and city events, and who strengthen our local economy.

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused incredible hardship to many sectors of our economy, but especially to our small businesses. Over the past several weeks, many community members have shared the challenges and uncertainties they face as they navigate running a business during a global pandemic. Their feedback, along with the hundreds of pieces of testimony we have received, is helping shape the state’s response.

In the Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response, we are considering a variety of options to help provide economic relief to the business community to complement Governor Brown’s executive authority and actions by the federal government. For instance, Governor Brown placed a moratorium on residential evictions, so the committee is considering also placing a prohibition on commercial foreclosures for the duration of the emergency declaration. Another proposal is to repurpose flexible funds within Business Oregon to provide direct, financial relief to certain impacted sectors. I am also concerned about those who are ineligible for UI like contractors or laid-off undocumented workers, so there is an idea to establish a fund to support those individuals who fall through the cracks in our current system. Finally, I have heard from many people who are concerned about their mortgages, and that is another topic the committee is investigating. You can read all of the proposals currently on the table here.

The Governor may call the Legislature in for a Special Session once we have a bipartisan agreement on a package of items that are the highest priority and can be addressed immediately. This could be the first action by the Legislature, and I don’t expect it to be the last. I also know our federal delegation is working hard to craft an economic package that will benefit Oregonians, and we are in constant communication with one another.

These are exceptionally challenging times, and I know relief cannot come fast enough for those who need it. Below, I have included some of the resources available to small businesses, as well as ideas on how community members can lend a helping hand. As always, if you need any assistance accessing resources, or have any feedback or questions you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In solidarity,


Andrea Salinas, State Representative 

Government Resources

Visit the Oregon Employment Department’s webpage for information on Unemployment options, including the WorkShare program.

  • If you are a worker who has lost your job due to the COVID-19 response, you may qualify for unemployment insurance to help get you through this rough time.  The Employment Department has made changes to qualification requirements, meaning that some of the more stringent requirements in the past have been relaxed in order to open up this resource to as many people as possible. Learn more here.
  • Work Share is a program that gives businesses alternatives to laying off workers. It allows businesses to keep skilled employees during slow periods by reducing work hours. Staff who have seen their hours and wages reduced will receive a portion of their regular unemployment insurance benefits to make up for lost wages.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries' Technical Assistance for Employers page has information about employer obligations and responsibilities.

Business Oregon has been actively responding to the needs of local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. They have compiled a list of COVID-19 specific resources that offer planning tips, counseling, a robust list of financial resources including non-bank lenders, and further information for businesses. Here is a link to their website.

The US Small Business Administration offers disaster assistance in the form of SBA loans to designated states, which includes Oregon. Information about these loans is available here.

And finally, the latest information on resources for workers and business owners is available at the Governor’s COVID-19 resources page.

Where to Report Loss of Revenue

It is important for our state to track loss of revenue. This will impact how much Federal assistance we receive. Businesses with impacted revenue because of COVID-19 can fill out the 'Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses' form and send to Leah Horner: 

Commercial Moratoriums on Evictions in Clackamas County

On March 19, Clackamas County Commissioners voted to support a countywide moratorium on commercial evictions for tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to lost income related to the coronavirus pandemic. More information, along with a link to the announcement, can be found here.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in 30 countries where Facebook operates. Businesses can use funds to pay workers, pay for rent costs, and cover operational expenses.

Applications will become available soon and more info can be found here.

How We Can Support Local Businesses:

This is by no means an exhaustive list, so please don’t hesitate to ask your favorite local business what types of assistance would be the most beneficial to them.

  • Take-Out:
    • Many local restaurants have remained open for take-out or delivery. This is a great way to support local business while abiding by social distancing requirements.
  • Gift Certificates
    • Another way to give support to our community is by purchasing gift certificates.
    • I encourage you to reach out to our businesses to see if this is something they are offering at this time.
  • Shop local, but online.
    • Visit the website of your favorite local retailer to see if they are offering online transactions.
  • Take a workout class online
    • Check-in with your local gym to see if they will be offering virtual workout classes during business closures.

email: I phone: 503-986-1438
address: 900 Court St NE, H-485, Salem, OR, 97301