“Oregon’s small businesses have long been the lifeblood of our economy, and I’m going to keep fighting for them—and the families they support—as we get through these tumultuous times,” said Merkley. “That means I’ve been pushing not only to free up resources for our businesses, but also to make sure those opportunities are easily accessible. This webpage is a critical tool that will help businesses across Oregon familiarize themselves with assistance options, so they can get the help they need and deserve.”
The webpage, http://www.merkley.senate.gov/mainstreet, details information about the new rescue programs included in the just-passed relief bills, such as $349 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program; $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) economic injury disaster loans; $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans; an Employee Retention Tax Credit; and reimbursement for businesses with fewer than 500 employees for paid sick leave and child caregiving leave.
In addition, the webpage compiles information from a variety of federal agencies about resources and opportunities available to help Oregon’s businesses weather the economic consequences of the pandemic. As details about new programs become available in the coming weeks, Senator Merkley and his staff will continue to update the page to give up-to-date guidance on how to access aid programs that will be available to help small businesses and non-profits weather the coronavirus crisis.
Throughout Congress’ coronavirus pandemic response efforts, Senator Merkley has been a consistent advocate for small business owners and employees throughout Oregon. Previously, Merkley fought alongside the Oregon delegation to support Governor Brown’s request for an economic disaster declaration from the SBA. The SBA ultimately granted the request, freeing up critical resources for Oregonians.
Merkley also proposed a comprehensive small business grant program—an initiative that was mirrored in the economic relief package that the Senate passed on March 25.
The launch of the business webpage follows the creation of the Senator’s first coronavirus resource page, which is still being updated with resources and guidance on slowing the spread of the virus and protecting Oregon’s most vulnerable populations from the illness.
Businesses wishing to connect with Senator Merkley’s office for assistance should call 503-326-3386.