When Jeff Merkley learned that Environ-Metal, an environmentally conscious small business in Sweet Home, Oregon, was in danger of having to halt manufacturing, close its assembly line and plant, and furlough 18 employees due to delays caused by the federal government shutdown, he stepped in to help.
Each year Environ-Metal submits an application to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) for permission to import materials from overseas, materials used to produce its custom, environmentally friendly shotgun shells. The business always submits its application to BATF well in advance of the deadline to keep plenty of these materials in stock. But when BATF informed Environ-Metal President Ralph Nauman that the application’s renewal would last several months longer than usual due to the government shutdown, Nauman sought Jeff’s help.
As Environ-Metal risked running out of stock of the shotgun shell materials, the senator’s office contacted BATF and asked the bureau either to expedite consideration of Environ-Metal’s application or let its current license continue until the application renewal cleared. The bureau expedited its approval of Environ-Metal’s application, which allowed the small Sweet Home business to stay open for business and protected 18 employees’ jobs during the peak holiday season.
This story shows one more way that Jeff and his staff help small businesses across Oregon navigate bureaucracies and reduce time spent cutting through red tape.