The last 2.5 years have seen our world change significantly. As a friend recently said, “not only has the cheese moved, but it is also a different cheese.” No truer words have been said. And yet, through all of this, business has carried on. It is what you do, through thick and thin, through pandemic, workforce shortages and supply chain concerns, you make it work.
In a recent email from the US Chamber of Commerce, I read a study about the Small Business Index, a study of the health of business in the US, and the findings were not necessarily surprising.
Inflationary costs and supply chain issues were cited as the greatest concern of businesses, however, businesses remain “optimistic about their day-to-day operations and expectation for the future”. Also cited, but seemingly less worrisome, are the issues of the Great Resignation, and workforce shortages.
Small business responses regarding COVID 19 safety protocols and compliance noted them as a top challenge over the last three quarters, while they wait for a return to normal, with 51% believing it will be six months to a year for that to happen.
Employers have also been adjusting to accommodate workers. A majority reported implementing changes to recruit and retain employees. The most popular offering was increasing flexibility in scheduling, next was increased wages and lastly, providing employees with opportunities to grow/learn. A little less than half of the respondents agreed that the worker shortage will be resolved in 2022, and despite that, many believed their business was winning in the talent department with clear plans for recruitment and retention.
Small businesses (67%) responded that they intended to raise prices of their goods and services to fight inflation. Some businesses have reduced staff or taken out loans in the past year to cover growing costs. In all, the report was positive and reflective of the sentiment across the US, that things will get better. You can read the full report here.
Since March 2020, when the world turned upside down, and the cheese moved and changed flavor, business has evolved, pivoted, and changed. Like Lazarus, we rise, we overcome and persevere. This time shall pass, and we will look back on it, the lessons we learned, and we will talk about how we made it through, together.
Pandemic Relief Bill Update: US Chamber Relief Bill impact on small business; Paid Family Leave rules
It’s been a busy few weeks and we know everyone is excitedly getting geared up for the holidays.
As promised, we’ve been keeping an eye on the ever changing landscape of important issues affecting you and your businesses. See highlights below.
Congress came to a pandemic relief bill over the weekend and it looks similar to what we reported to you late last week. The US Chamber is hosting a meeting tomorrow (see the invitation below) to discuss the impact the pandemic bill could have on small business. The Oregon Department of Employment is seeking feedback on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance.
Congress struck a deal on a stimulus package over the weekend. Here are some of the highlights:
The final pandemic relief package, $900B, has been agreed upon and will be voted on sometime today in the House and later tonight in the Senate.
It has additional PPP funding that will terminate March 31, 2021. The bill expands allowable uses for PPP funds and simplifies the loan process for loans under $150,000. Second loans would be limited to those with fewer than 300 employees and drops of at least 25% of their revenue during the first, second or third quarter of 2020. It also reduces the amount a borrower can receive from $10M to $2M.
Employers deferring workers’ payroll taxes under the Trump Administration executive order now have until the end of 2021 to pay back the withholding taxes owed.
There is $12B set aside for minority owned businesses, and expands eligibility to more non-profits, local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters.
The bill creates a $15B grant program for live venues, theaters and museums that have lost at least 25% of revenues.
Establishes $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit, for 11 weeks from the end of December through March 14. It also extends two other unemployment programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Both programs would close to new applicant on March 14 but continue through April 5 for existing claimants.
Establishes $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans and will begin arriving in bank accounts next week. Eligible families will receive an additional $600 per child. Payments start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross income of more than $75,000 and those making more than $99,000 would not receive anything. Income thresholds are doubled for couples.
Includes a new round of funding for subsidies for hard-hit businesses and restaurants.
Funding of $82B for schools and colleges, $27B for transportation and $22B for health related expenses of state, local, tribal and territorial government.
Extends the moratorium on evictions to January 31, 2021, with $25B in rental assistance for individuals who lost their sources of income during the pandemic.
The bill is over 5,000 pages long (the longest bill ever), the next longest being the 2,847 page tax reform bill of 1986.
Chamber members are invited to join this call hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, TOMORROW, December 22, 2020: Pandemic Relief Small Business Update – Please join U.S. Chamber executive vice president and chief policy officer Neil Bradley and CO— content director Jeanette Mulvey December 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 pm MT / 11:00 am PT / 10:00 am Alaska for a Small Business Update to hear the latest about what the pandemic relief bill could mean for the small business community. Click here to register now.
The Oregon Department of Employment is seeking feedback from the business community on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance proposed draft administrative rules. You can read the rules here and submit feedback. Some of the rules are time sensitive and responses must be submitted by December 31. Please take some time, if you can, to read through the draft administrative rules and submit comments. These rules could impact your business. For example, the rules define bonuses, fees, and prizes as wages and therefore subject to PFMLI contribution, and gifts are not defined as wages, therefore are not subject to PFMLI. Also note that comments submitted require a name, organization name, become part of the official record and may be made available to the public. You can sign up for updates on the administrative rules here.
OHA has added a vaccine information page to their website.
USDA has extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family housing direct loans. For more information, please visit the USDA Rural Development site: https://www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus.
Oregon State Chamber of Commerce has developed a strong message to the Governor and the Oregon Legislature: “Local businesses need to be made whole, and they need to be able to re-open for business now.” You can read the entire message, sign up for alerts and send a message to your legislator here: https://www.oregonchamber.org/advocacy-in-action.
Wishing you all the best this holiday season. If we can be of assistance to you please do let us know.
The Business Oregon Application is LIVE – Apply NOW!
The grant information is posted on the Bus Oregon site. It is a first come first serve basis! Don’t WAIT to apply!
This application is for a business that meets all of the following eligibility requirements and only one application may be made per business and the applicant must be an owner operator:
The business is headquartered in Oregon and has its principal operations in Oregon.
If required by Oregon law to be registered with the Oregon Secretary of State to do business in Oregon, the business is so registered.
The businesses has:
1 to 25 FTE employees and has accepted between $100,000 and $1,000,000 in federal business assistance through the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (EIDLA) programs, or
26 to 100 FTE employees and has accepted between $0 and $1,000,000 of federal business assistance through the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (EIDLA) programs.
The business was adversely affected in either one of the following two ways:
For-profit and non-profit (limited to 501(c)(3) corporations) businesses that were prohibited from operation as directed by Executive Order 20-12.
For-profit and non-profit (limited to 501(c)(3) corporations) businesses that can demonstrate a one-month decline in sales of 25% or more, incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 1, 2020, and August 31, 2020, as compared against the same period of time in 2019.
is open and has remined open from March 1, 2020, to present, or
reopened and remains open after being closed due to Governor’s Executive Order 20-12, or
is closed due to the 2020 wildfires but the business intends to reopen and
was open and had remained open from March 1, 2020, until the wildfires, or
reopened for business after being closed due to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12
The following businesses are ineligible to apply for or receive funding under the Program:
Passive real estate holding companies, entities holding passive investments, and entities with passive ownership.
Non-profit entities that do not have federal 501(c)(3) status.
Businesses that experience a decline in revenues for reasons other than those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., seasonal or cyclical business cycles).
Businesses that are delinquent on federal, state, or local taxes that were due on or before the date of application.
Businesses that do not comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Businesses that have already received grant funds through the Statewide Business and Cultural Support Program. The Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature established this program in July 2020, to support cultural venues and organizations. Eligible recipients for this program include, but are not limited to, cultural institutions, children’s museums, county fairgrounds, cultural entities within federally recognized Indian Tribes based in Oregon, and festivals and community event organizations.
Businesses that have already received, or were eligible for, grant funds through previous rounds of this state of Oregon COVID-19 Emergency Business Assistance Program administered by Oregon’s cities, counties, economic development districts, and community development financial institutions. This includes all businesses with 25 or fewer employees that accepted less than $100,000 in any form of federal CARES funding.
Businesses that have accepted more than $1,000,000 of federal CARES funding from the SBA PPP, EIDL, and EIDLA programs, as set forth by this program in this application.
Businesses with more than 100 FTE employees.
Businesses that have closed and do not intend to reopen.
Businesses that do not otherwise meet the eligibility requirements set forth above.
Awards to eligible businesses will be made as a grant. The amount of the grant will be based upon a calculation for Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employment at a rate of $2,000 per FTE as calculated in Section 2 of this application:
Businesses with 2 or fewer FTE—$5,000
Businesses with 3 or more FTE—$2,000 per FTE (cap of $200,000)
FTE will be only be calculated based on hours reported to the Oregon Employment Department (OED) on Form 132 for Q4 2019, Q1 2020, Q2 2020, or Q3 2020. Hired consultants, independent contractors, and indirect employees (e.g., employees provided by a staffing company) will not be considered as employees of the applicant for this program.
Businesses not required—or that have elected not—to file OED Form 132 with the Oregon Employment Department are still eligible for this program, but will have a maximum award of $5,000.
Awards by geographic area:
Due to timing constraints associated with the funding for this program, all applications will be processed on a first-come first-served basis in the order received and by geographic region as detailed below. The basis for considering an application will be based on the time and date that applications are received and accepted by Business Oregon. No exceptions will be made.
To disburse funds equitably across the state, to the extent possible, Business Oregon will cap awards within the following regions:
Crook, Deschutes, Hood, Jefferson, Sherman, and Wasco counties
Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Lincoln, and Tillamook counties
Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lake counties
Benton, Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties
Business Oregon Announced an Additional $20M in Emergency Assistance Grant Funding
Business Oregon has an additional $20M in grants for business, on top of the $55M that we told you about earlier. The Governor also announced the Give the Gift of Oregon shop local program. Oregon Ag industry employees can obtain KN95 masks. More information can be found below.
Business Oregon announced today an additional $20M in emergency assistance grant funding. Business Oregon will fund businesses directly. The grants are available to small businesses that have seen lost revenue due to the pandemic and that meet a minimal set of requirements. The application form and additional details will be found on Business Oregon’s emergency small business assistance fund website. Applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis. The information will be posted for applying TODAY on the Business Oregon site. Don’t wait to apply!
According to the Business Oregon site, “most previous rounds also targeted businesses that did not already receive assistance through the CARES Act (such as PPP, EIDL, City of Portland Small Relief Program, the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief + Resiliency and other programs funded with CARES Act funds). This round will now consider applications from businesses with 1 to 25 employees that have already received anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million in funding from these federal resources. Businesses with 25 to 100 employees are eligible regardless of the amount of federal resources they received (up to $1,000,000), if they meet other program requirements.”
Governor Brown announced today an initiative to help support Oregon’s economy. Called the Give the Gift of Oregon, the campaign is a part of a comprehensive effort to support local businesses statewide. According to the press release, “Travel Oregon and Business Oregon, the state’s tourism and economic development agencies, are collaborating to carry out this consumer campaign, which runs from November 18 through December 31. The project aims to inspire Oregonians to keep it local and support their favorite businesses as they check off holiday gift lists.” Oregonian’s will be able to find featured businesses across the state, along with gift ideas on www.traveloregon.com/giftoforegon. There are many buy local programs happening across the state and the promotion will highlight many of these programs on social media with the hashtag #givethegiftofOregon. Oregonians are encouraged to share their support on social media by sharing their purchases or favorite businesses using the hashtag. You can learn more about participating in the campaign by visiting Travel Oregon’s website: www.industry.traveloregon.com/.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture and OSU Extension are again partnering to provide free KN95 masks to farmworkers, farmers, ranchers, fishers, food processors and farm labor contractors to protect Oregon’s food and fiber workers. Handouts in English and Spanish are available and attached for you.
Our foggy mornings continue to remind me that Fall is here. It is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing on the trees outside the chamber office, there’s a little nip in the air. Where did the summer go? I’ve heard said that time speeds up as you age. I think I understand that phenomenon.
Over the past months of this surreal and challenging pandemic year, our sole focus has been to ensure you, our business community, has the information and resources you need. I don’t have to tell you it isn’t over yet. Please know that we will be with you through this and into whatever happens next and beyond. This Chamber has stood for this community for over 100 years, and we will do all we can to ensure it continues to stand, for you. If there is anything that you need at this time, please call 503-472-6196 or email me at email@example.com.
In keeping with our commitment to provide you information that may impact you and your business, we have the following to share:
Please complete our short, 7 question survey It will help inform us on business trends and how we can serve you better. If you have not taken the survey, please click on this link: https://conta.cc/2ZOVUR7. Thank you!
Governor Brown has extended the moratorium on evictions until December 31, 2020. The latest moratorium does not include commercial leases, only residential.
Cybercriminals are targeting work at home employees. At our Cybersecurity Business Support Series webinar, our presenters mentioned the potential risk to WFH employees and what you can do to mitigate your company’s exposure. You can watch the recorded webinar here: https://mcminnville.org/macc-business-support-series-webinars/. And, the US Chamber of Commerce released a bulletin on how to assess your cyber risk here: https://www.uschamber.com/cybersecurity-covid/#/.
As part of our Business Support Series, we have invited City Planner Heather Richards to present to us information about the City’s effort to expand McMinnville’s Urban Growth Boundary. You can register here. It’s free with your membership.
Wishing you all the best!
Gioia Goodrum, President and CEO firstname.lastname@example.org
Paid leave for Covid diagnosed employees, information for displaced Oregonians and more
Please see an update on items that may impact you and your business. Updates include: paid leave for covid diagnosed employees; voting information for displaced Oregonians; masks for ag workers; emergency business grant for business; childcare survey; wildfire state response; covid vs smoke inhalation
Salem, OR—A new program starts this week to help people who work in Oregon and need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, but do not have access to COVID-19-related paid sick leave, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today. The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program was created with $30 million received from the federal government to help Oregon respond to the coronavirus pandemic. People who qualify will receive a $120 per-day payment for up to 10 working days ($1,200 total) for the time they are required quarantine. Employees can apply online starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, at oregon.gov/covidpaidleave. The application form is available in English, Spanish, and Russian. Those who do not have access to electronic applications can call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130. Those who need help in a language other than these three can call 503-947-0131 for help. DCBS and the Department of Revenue are collaborating on the new program to ensure employees meet the necessary eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for the program, one must meet all of the following requirements:
• Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return. • Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected, or isolating because you have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis. • Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate. • Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020. • Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave. • Are not applying for or receiving unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation. • Are not applying for or receiving workers’ compensation claim benefits due to quarantine or isolation. • Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state. • Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave. • Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer. • Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.
Because the available funds are limited, the program is available only to quarantine periods that were in place on or after Sept. 16. Applicants can claim only one quarantine period. For more information or to apply, go to oregon.gov/covidpaidleave or call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The website also contains an eligibility quiz to help people who are not sure if they qualify. Fliers are attached in English and Spanish.
SALEM, OR — Secretary of State Bev Clarno issued the following statement in response to the wildfires and to ensure all displaced Oregonians are able to receive their ballot and vote this November.“The families and communities affected by the devastating wildfires across Oregon are in my thoughts and prayers. Our team at Secretary of State stands ready to help both in the immediate response and long-term recovery efforts to come. For any Oregonians displaced from their home and concerned about voting in the General Election this November, rest assured we have a plan and are working closely with local election officials to ensure you can receive your ballot, vote, and make your voices heard.” For frequently asked questions, visit oregonvotes.gov/fires.
Employers of ag workers needing masks. Per the Oregon Health Authority, KN95 masks are being sent to community based organizations and OSU extension offices. Per OHA: They are adequate protection for the particulate level we have in the Oregon according to OSHA and FDA.” You can contact the Yamhill County Extension Office’s Kelli Watcherson at email@example.com or Unidos’ Miriam Vargas-Corona at Miriam@unidosyamhillcounty.org to obtain masks for your workers.
Due to weather conditions, the City of McMinnville is extending the application deadline for the Emergency Business Assistance grant from this Friday, September 18, to Friday, September 25, 2020. Applications can be accessed online at www.MACbusinessassistance.com, or at the Library and Community Development Center, and can be submitted online at MACbusinessassistance@mcminnvilleoregon.gov or in person at the Community Development Center, 231 NE Fifth Street.
NEW GRANT! The latest regional recovery grant for small businesses has just opened through Willamette Workforce Partnership. This program is funded at $670,000 and is available for Yamhill, Polk and Marion County companies only. This funding looks very different from other rounds. One major difference is that previous support through Cares Act funds (EIDL & PPP) and previous grant awards do not negate your eligibility. I hope you will take the time to work through this VERY SHORT application to see if you are eligible. It is worth your time! The program info and link to the application can be found here: https://willwp.org/
CHILDCARE SURVEY– WE NEED YOUR HELP! the County is seeking funding from the State and Federal governments to support programming that will increase the availability to localized, safe, legal childcare (of all ages) in Yamhill County, In order to validate the ask, they have developed a needs survey in partnership with the Early Learning Hub. They are asking businesses and community members to please complete this survey to aide them in accessing those funds. It is a 5 minute survey and is very valuable to this process. Please help. The survey can be found here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5823226/Yamhill-CCO-Early-Learning-Hub-Business-Survey.
There are two instructional posters attached (in English and Spanish) on how to properly wear a N95 mask and how to high speed wash hands. (see below)
There is a fund for folks in the Santiam Canyon set up through the Santiam Service Integration Team, to meet the immediate and long term needs of folks in the Santiam Canyon. You can find it on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SCWRfund/.
Governor Kate Brown declares abnormal market disruption due to wildfire state of emergency: Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-42, declaring an abnormal market disruption as a result of the statewide wildfire emergency. Read the news release.
Travel Oregon has created a new wildfire information hub for a variety of current wildfire and smoke related information. The site focuses on preparedness, travel and evacuation resources.
Attached is a flyer from OHA (currently only available in English) that helps explain the differences in symptoms one might experience from COVID and smoke inhalation. This page also has other helpful information about resources and support for anyone affected by the wildfires.
Special thanks to our County Commissioners and the Yamhill Emergency Management Team for all of their hard work to help our neighboring counties and evacuees. Thank you to the firefighters, the National Guard (and their families) and our local FD and PD. Thank you to the businesses that offered to host evacuees and the restaurants that have donated meals and food. Thank you to our entire community who have come together to support and help each other. We live in a wonderful place, full of amazing, giving people. We are getting through this together.