FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25, 2021 Contact: Tom Hoffert, CEO, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce 503-581-1466 | email@example.com
Salem, OR – The Salem Chamber welcomes the pivotal announcement today by Governor Kate Brown regarding a full reopening of Oregon’s economy no later than June 30th. What began as a three-week “pause” now finds Oregon businesses on the heels of 15 months and 13 days of unprecedented regulation under executive mandate and restrictions. Over this challenging time, we have witnessed numerous permanent business closures in the Salem-Keizer region, a complex workforce challenge, a series of partial reopening’s, and ever-changing administrative rules and emergency orders. The recovery process will take years of strategic work and concerted effort. By all accounts, doing business in Oregon will forever look quite different than a short 16 months ago.
In Governor Brown’s address today, she noted that most COVID restrictions will be lifted no later than June 30th. Should the state reach the previously set vaccination mark of 70% of adult Oregonians (18 years +), the state will reopen at that time. If this does not occur before Wednesday, the state will effectively open on June 30th. While this reopening will mean the end to mask wearing in most locations, the most important impact for area businesses is the removal of capacity limits, which have severely affected our restaurant and hospitality industries’ ability to remain viable. Governor Brown noted, “Oregon will effectively be 100% open for business”.
The Governor will sign a new executive order today (June 25th), which lifts COVID restrictions upon the date our state reaches 70% vaccination rate or June 30th, whichever comes first. As of yesterday (June 24th), 68.9% of adult Oregonians had their first vaccine dose, with an average increase in that figure of 0.1% increase each day. Modeling notes that Oregon will likely not hit the 70% vaccinated rate until after the July 4th holiday. Thus, June 30th becomes a paramount day for Oregon businesses as capacity restrictions end and customers may fill our Salem small businesses with patrons. It is widely expected that Oregon OSHA will match the removal of their restrictions to the Governor’s June 30th date.
Salem Chamber CEO Tom Hoffert shared, “I am happy for Salem and Keizer small business owners, as these resilient owners and employees have weathered a uniquely challenging time in American history. While the removal of capacity restrictions will provide a huge boost, there are still very important challenges still facing Oregon businesses. As a state, we must address the extension of unemployment benefits to those individuals who are not making a concerted effort to reenter the Oregon workforce – these individuals are on the sidelines, and we need their participation to allow our state’s economic ecosystem to regain health in the months and years to come. Secondly, we have a very pressing statewide need for childcare, as parents in all 36 Oregon counties face a resource decision when returning to work and managing coverage issues for their children. The Salem Chamber will link arms with a number of small business advocacy organizations across the state to assist in thoughtful and constructive solutions, which will allow Oregon to take a big step forward out of this pandemic.”
The Chamber is a non-partisan, inclusive organization representing nearly 1100 businesses and over 40,000 employees in the greater Salem area. For information on how you may become active within the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.salemchamber.org