Small businesses during COVID 19

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Governor Brown speaks to the public.

Small businesses are experiencing a distressing, unfortunate time during the COVID 19 pandemic. Due to Oregon’s stay-at-home order, which includes the requirement for people to stay six feet apart, people are not going to local restaurants and shops. Lots of businesses have had to close by law. Since the start of quarantine, businesses have been struggling about what to do. Some restaurants offer pick-up only or have a food delivery service. Businesses that sell products have resorted to selling their products online.

The effect of small businesses closing is money loss and unemployment. There is an act called the CARES Act that contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. Business owners can apply for relief funding loans. 4.2 million have received emergency loans. Though these loans are a help, they aren’t saving the small businesses. Some have decided to permanently shut down, leaving them and their employees without jobs; about 35.7 million employees have faced unemployment. Economists estimate that over 100,000 have closed for good.

This all started March 23 when the stay at home order was enacted by Kate Brown, Oregon’s governor. It is unclear when small businesses will be able to open and replenish. In Oregon, we are in Phase One of our state’s reopening plan, and some businesses have opened but are following social distancing rules. As those rules begin to loosen, restaurants and shops will hopefully get more people in.

There are ways to help local small businesses. For restaurants, get take out if they are providing it; for shops, if they are open safely try to buy something from them, buy gift cards, give good reviews online, support them on social media, and thank them. The business owners are doing their best to keep their livelihood alive, and they are under a lot of stress, so saying thank you has a great impact.