Coronavirus Business Resources & Assistance
The economic impact of COVID-19 on the Bend economy is already far-reaching, business assistance programs are still being developed by numerous agencies, lending institutions, and other organizations across the country. You can find an evolving list of available programs below.
If you'd like to speak to someone on the City of Bend's Economic Development team over the phone, please call 541-323-7151. This inbox is monitored regularly and you'll receive a call back from someone best equipped to respond to your question or request.
Please contact Ben Hemson at email@example.com if you have questions or resources you’d like shared on this page.
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Page last updated: 4/2/2020 at 10:04 am.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
- If you're a business tenant in a commercial building, now is the time to get in touch with your landlord to discuss payment options. We've been speaking with landlords and property managers throughout town who are working to reduce or waive rent in the face of this business disruption.
- If you have an existing relationship with a bank or other lending institution get in touch with them. Many institutions are offering programs for existing clients during this time. While State and Federal financial assistance is coming, you may be able to access capital from your bank more quickly in the short term.
- If you've had to do a layoff, consider allowing your employees to use your computers. At a time when most public places with computers have been closed and wait times for filing for unemployment insurance over the phone are greater than one hour, there are many families that do not have computers at home.
- Our local healthcare providers are receiving calls requesting a doctor’s note before clearing them to return to work. With COVID-19 tests in very limited supply, getting a test is impossible save for folks meeting strict criteria. You can help preserve healthcare capacity in the region, instead of requiring return to work notes from healthcare providers please follow CDC guidelines for employers on when a sick employee should return to the office.
- The US Senate and House approved a $2 trillion relief package to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic with a vote expected on Wednesday, March 25. You can find an overview of what's included in the package here.
- The Internal Revenue Service has a list of COVID-19 tax relief options here. On March 17 the federal government announced they will defer taxes owed of up to $1 million for individuals and and $10 million for corporations for up to 90 days beyond April 15. You can view an article on that announcement here.
STATE OF OREGON RESOURCES:
Oregon’s state agencies are continuing to roll out or modify programs to address business impacts.
- Oregon Employment Department: The State employment agency has a list of resources for businesses and workers planning for, or experiencing layoffs due to COVID-19 disruptions.
- If you’re a business experiencing scheduling reductions, Oregon’s Work Share Program helps employers prevent layoffs by reducing the schedules of workers, instead of laying them off, while benefits help to offset employees' lost wages.
- If you're an employer planning layoffs: Designating your layoffs as temporary allows your employees to access Unemployment Insurance benefits more quickly and allows you to bring them back within a month if business returns.
- Oregon Department of Revenue: The state’s tax collection agency is allowing extensions for personal income tax payment and will not penalize businesses for underpayment of the Corporate Activity Tax due to difficulty estimating revenue at this time. You can find a brief overview of current plans here.
- The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industry has waived predictive scheduling rules affecting employers with more than 500 employees. You can find more information here.
- Business Oregon: The State economic development agency has a list of available financial products here.
- Business Oregon’s Regional Development Officer for Central Oregon, Carolyn Meece, can help you navigate which programs you may qualify for. You can email Carolyn directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries has information available for employers on workplace laws including requirements on sick leave, family leave, and final pay in the wake of layoffs.
- Oregon OSHA: Businesses and employees can report workplace safety issues, including those involving a failure to implement social distancing recommendations via an online form located here.
Both private lenders and public agencies continue to roll out dedicated resources for businesses seeking financial assistance during the coronavirus. Find additional information here.
- The City of Bend is suspending water service disconnections during the COVID-19 response and will not charge late fees for nonpayment. If you have questions or issues with payment please call the customer service department directly at 541-388-5515.
- Cascade Natural Gas Is suspending gas disconnections due to nonpayment during COVID-19 response.
- Pacific Power is suspending power disconnections due to nonpayment during the COVID-19 response.
- BendBroadband is suspending late fees and maintaining connections for customers directly impacted by the pandemic. Customers with students or a financial need are eligible for 60 days of free internet access.
VIRUS INFO AND UPDATES:
- The Central Oregon Emergency Information Network has local updates on closures and service changes.
- The Centers for Disease Control website has information on the virus along with guidelines for businesses seeking to disinfect shared surfaces here.
STATE & LOCAL ORDERS
- Governor Brown has issued a number of Executive Orders relevant to the business community, you can find more information on each order linked below:
- April 1: An order imposing a temporary moratorium on commercial and residential evictions due to nonpayment of rent.
- March 23: An order closing additional retail and entertainment businesses and requiring all businesses that remain open to have a plan to enforce social distancing for customers and employees.
- March 22: An order placing a temporary moratorium on residential evictions.
- March 18: An order requiring healthcare providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures in order to preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves
- March 18: An order moving all higher education classes to online-learning and prohibiting in-person classroom interactions.
- March 16: An order canceling all gatherings larger than 25 people, limiting all restaurants to take-out or delivery, and urging all businesses to assess social distancing and cleaning measures.
- The Bend City Council declared a local state of emergency on Wednesday, March 18, currently lasting through April 15. This order allows for the creation of utility payment deferrals, code waivers, and development of business assistance programs.
- For Manufacturers: OMEP is seeking manufacturers with the ability to transition production toward needed medical supplies, you can find more details and contact information here near the bottom of the page.
- Visit Bend is tracking retail businesses that are still open, including restaurants offering takeout or delivery. If you're remaining open you can share your information with them via a short form, available here, to be included in their online business directory at visitbend.com.
- The Small Business Development Center at Central Oregon Community College continues to offer small business advising services remotely. You can find more information here.
- The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association is posting updates and resources for the restaurant industry here.
- The Oregon Economic Development Association has a list of business tips available here.
- Pandemic Partners Bend is a local Facebook group connecting volunteers with those needing help in the community.