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Oregon Coronavirus Information & Resources For Business

The Office of Small Business Assistance is part of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Corporation Division. If you are looking for the US Small Business Administration, find them at http://www.sba.gov

Our office is working directly with businesses seeking answers and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to address some of the questions being asked, we’re providing these Frequently Asked Question and Answers. 

There are many resources available, and local resources may differ from those offered by the state or federal government. For information about a specific program, it’s best to contact the provider of that resource directly. Reaching resources by phone at this time might be difficult. Refer to websites and email questions whenever possible.

Financial Help

If you are an employer with questions about how to help your workers with a layoff or other reduction in hours, contact the Oregon Employment Department, who administers the WorkShare program. The WorkShare website is: http://www.oregonworkshare.com​


Anyone can file for unemployment. Even if you're self-employed, you can still file a claim, and the Employment Department will determine whether your claim is valid.

Unemployment Insurance is an insurance paid through Unemployment Insurance taxes by employers. Business owners without employees who have not specifically elected to subject themselves to Unemployment Insurance taxes over the past two years are not likely to have a valid unemployment claim. However, these conditions are constantly changing and the Employment Department has modified many of their own rules to adjust Unemployment eligibility. Many people are filing a claim for unemployment in case the program is expanded at a later date. There’s no harm in filing a claim, beyond the time it takes to go through the process.

The Employment Department website is www.oregon.gov/employ​. Please note there are different tabs on their page depending on if you are a business or an individual seeking benefits.

Watch a video on how to file for unemployment at: https://govstatus.egov.com/ORUnemployment_COVID19​

The most common source of funding comes in the form of loans, but this may change with federal legislation. Even if loans aren't desirable, there are many different types of loans out there which can be used to pay rent, utilities, payroll, and more. The US Small Business Administration offers disaster assistance in the form of SBA loans to designated states. Information about these loans is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index​.

Additional financial resources for businesses can be found at Business Oregon, which is Oregon’s economic development agency. Check their website created for businesses experiencing problems due to COVID-19.

The Department of Human Services offers programs to assist those in need through:

The Oregon Health Authority offers the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program​.

Get the latest information on resources for workers and business on the Governor's website.

Maybe. Grants are generally more competitive and have stricter requirements. Many grants are given out based on specific demographics and communities. Since grants are given out by a variety of non-profits, for-profit businesses, and local government entities, there is no centralized body within our office to track where, when, and to whom a grant might become available. 

Businesses seeking grants rather than loans are encouraged to check with their local government, Business Oregon​, the US Small Business Administration​, and the business’s respective Chamber of Commerce to find out if grants are available.

Some SBA Disaster loans are forgivable and don’t need to be paid back if used for specific purposes and meeting strict guidelines set by the SBA. Check with the SBA or Small Business Development Centers​ to get more details about forgivable loans.​

Yes. The Small Business Development Centers are found throughout Oregon, and they offer free business advice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have shifted to remote platforms, yet still remain operational by appointment. Find your local SBDC at https://bizcenter.org/​.


Response times for agencies may be impacted because other businesses are seeking the same information. Many agencies are referring people to online resources, especially since resources, closures, and updates are constantly changing. Please consider sending questions via email rather than calling by phone, and please be patient.


Business Oregon is the state's economic development agency. Their website has helpful information about business resources, including alternative lenders, referrals to business advisors, and staff dedicated to helping and supporting Oregon businesses. See their resources page at https://www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information/​.

Employment Help

If you are an employer with questions about how to help your workers with a layoff or other reduction in hours, contact the Oregon Employment Department, who administers the WorkShare program. The WorkShare website is: http://www.oregonworkshare.com​


Response times for agencies may be impacted because other businesses are seeking the same information. Many agencies are referring people to online resources, especially since resources, closures, and updates are constantly changing. Please consider sending questions via email rather than calling by phone, and please be patient.


Get information about employer obligations at the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, Technical Assistance for Employers web page.

Information about sick leave, final paychecks, and more can be found there. Specific questions can be emailed to bolita@boli.state.or.us​.


Business Oregon is the state's economic development agency. Their website has helpful information about business resources, including alternative lenders, referrals to business advisors, and staff dedicated to helping and supporting Oregon businesses. See their resources page at https://www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information/​.

Oregon Executive Order 20-12

On March 23, Gov. Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12​, effective immediately until further notice. This is a statewide order. Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health.


Find information about essential vs. non-essential Oregon businesses, including a quiz to help you decide on the Governor's Coronavirus Information page​.

The federal government also provides guidance on essential versus non-essential online: 

No. The Governor’s Executive Order closes certain businesses, outlined in section (2) of the Order. These businesses reflect operations that would make close contact difficult or impossible to avoid. State Police Officers are not asking or looking for any type of special paperwork from your employer. There is no special documentation or placards for people or vehicles going to work or other permitted activities.

Guidance from the Oregon State Police.

You can make a donation, offer services or volunteer on the Oregon Supply Connector website​.

Businesses can offer to donate or sell products by taking a survey which asks for details about products or services being offered.


Additional Resources

Yes. The Small Business Development Centers are found throughout Oregon, and they offer free business advice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have shifted to remote platforms, yet still remain operational by appointment. Find your local SBDC at https://bizcenter.org/​.


You can make a donation, offer services or volunteer on the Oregon Supply Connector website​.

Businesses can offer to donate or sell products by taking a survey which asks for details about products or services being offered.

Business Oregon is the state's economic development agency. Their website has helpful information about business resources, including alternative lenders, referrals to business advisors, and staff dedicated to helping and supporting Oregon businesses. See their resources page at https://www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information/​.


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