Gov. Kate Brown ordered additional business closures today, focusing on consumer-facing operations where social distancing practices are difficult to implement. She also ordered businesses continuing to operate to implement work-from-home practices to the greatest extent possible, and where that is not practicable, to implement mandatory social distancing practices.
Oregon businesses support the governor’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. That must be our top priority.
We also appreciate that Gov. Brown recognizes that the economic fallout from this crisis is impacting household incomes across Oregon, as companies shut down and workers are released.
The order indicates that the governor understands that workers who can do so safely should have the opportunity to remain on the job and maintain their incomes. Oregon businesses already have taken measures along the lines of today’s order. Many office-based businesses report that the vast majority of their employees are working remotely, and the steep decline in public transit ridership and traffic volume demonstrates that is the case. Businesses that can’t accommodate remote work, like manufacturers, construction and others, are following the governor’s directive to implement social distancing practices.
We are reviewing the list of required closures to consider the impacts on the ability of business to deliver critical services Oregonians need during this time. We continue to work closely with the governor’s office to ensure there is specificity around how her ongoing efforts to address the coronavirus crisis will impact Oregon businesses and their employees, and to ensure that we have a continuing statewide standard, which is imperative to ensuring clarity for Oregonians.
We also are stressing that the state must be developing plans immediately to assist the many businesses, especially Oregon’s small businesses and our hospitality industry, that have been devastated by this crisis, whether they have closed or have seen substantial reductions in transactions.
OBI President and CEO