Employment and Economic Response to COVID-19

Business Resources

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. Read the news release.

SCORE is hosting a free webinar on May 12 at 11 a.m. The 4 Key Things Business Owners Should Be Focused on Right Now. Register here.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has posted updated FAQs providing answers regarding the Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act. The Employee Retention Credit encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

Worker and Unemployment Resources

OregonHealthCare.gov offers solution for those who lost health insurance due to COVID-19: Job loss due to COVID-19 has caused many Oregonians to lose their health insurance. The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace can help them find new coverage, often with financial help. Learn more.

Initial Claims and Unemployment Benefits in Oregon: During the week of April 26 to May 2, the Oregon Employment Department received 19,600 initial claims for unemployment benefits. The agency has received more than 381,800 initial claims since COVID-19 businesses closures began in mid-March. Read the news release.

Cities and Counties

Faith Communities and COVID-19 — A dialog with the Governor’s Office and the Oregon Health Authority: The office of Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority will hold a webinar with faith communities to discuss COVID-19 at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12. The dialog includes Phase 1 reopening guidance for the faith community and other topics. Register here.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department recently announced that eight state park sites will partially or completely reopen immediately, with others following May 11. This followed Governor Kate Brown’s announcement that some state recreation areas would reopen, though with some limitations. Campgrounds at Oregon state parks will remain closed, with no anticipated date of reopening. You can find an updated posting of the facilities that are open at oregonstateparks.org.

Reopen Mainstreet 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.

The state of Oregon has approved additional emergency funding to regional food banks due to the increased need for food assistance during the pandemic. There is also a new tool to serve as a way to both identify growers who have lost sales due to the COVID-19 health crisis and also identify growers that would be interested in selling to Regional Food Banks beyond this crisis. Find more information.

Travel Oregon announces COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant Program: Travel Oregon is seeking grant applications from small businesses that are tied to tourism and overnight stays. The grants target small businesses in rural communities that have not received other federal aid, including the PPP and EIDL programs. Applicants can apply for the $800,000 in funding between May 11 and May 15. Learn more about the grants.

The Office of Economic Analysis looks at current economic data and how it could affect social and demographic trends in Oregon, from adults living at home with their parents to migration into and out of the state. Read the blog.

Impact of COVID-19 on Travel Industry: Travel Oregon’s research team released a report May 6 with detailed information on pandemic impacts to the travel industry. The report compiles state and national data on many aspects of the travel industry, from vacation rental occupancy to passenger numbers at Portland International Airport. Read more.

The Office of Emergency Management issues updated statewide distribution guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE): Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management issued updated guidelines to help ensure distribution of protective equipment across the state as needed. Anticipating increased demand for PPE, the state will funnel equipment once a week to counties and Oregon’s sovereign tribes, based on a priority matrix. Read the news release.

There are numerous online resources for those seeking health-related information, including daily COVID-19 updates from the Oregon Health Authority at https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19.

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