Employment and Economic Response to COVID-19
March 26, 2020 Update
This digest is a compilation of information and resources related to employment, commerce and economic development issues surrounding COVID-19. There are numerous online resources for those seeking health-related information, including daily COVID-19 updates from the Oregon Health Authority at https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19.
The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.
Oregon Housing and Community Services has a COVID-19 landing page, with information a range of housing-related information. The page also provides new information on the announcement by the state’s three largest utilities to suspend disconnection and late fees due to the pandemic.
USDA Rural Development has extended the loan application deadline for two rural grants due to COVID-19. These include the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The page also explains other USDA Rural Development programs to help rural Oregon.
The Oregon Employment Department said in a news release that it received more than 76,500 unemployment claims during the week of March 15. The number of new claims continues to increase this week.
The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has a new post about the number of state and federal unemployment insurance claims and the outlook moving forward.
The support available to small businesses in the Coronavirus relief packages is summarized in this report from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
The International Economic Development Council is offering a free webinar from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 30 to explain a range of federal programs and resources to help businesses respond to and recover from the pandemic. Register here.