Oregon restaurants worry about lack of economic backstop


SALEM, Ore. (AP/KOIN) — As COVID-19 cases surge across Oregon a slew of new restrictions are being implemented in the state beginning Wednesday, as part of a two-week freeze in halt social activities.

Restaurants are once again being limited to take-out only — but this time with the lack of an economic backstop, worrying owners that their business will not be able to survive.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic around 200 restaurants, or 2 percent of Oregon’s restaurants, have permanently closed.

A month into Oregon’s March shutdown, an estimated 81% of Oregon restaurant workers had been laid off or furloughed — impacting 127,000 restaurant workers, according to a national survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association.

In an open letter, the Independent Restaurant Alliance of Oregon asked Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Legislature to take immediate steps to help mitigate the impacts from the partial lockdown, including allowing establishments to sell cocktails to go, a moratorium on commercial evictions, along with providing a financial relief fund.

Full letter below:

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