“The Salem Chamber joins our entire nation in our efforts to stem the spread and health effects of COVID-19 across our communities.  Like all Americans, we wish to see a sharp decline and ultimate eradication of this novel virus.  As an organization, we remain extremely concerned with Governor Brown’s 2-week “freeze”, as Oregon Health Authority data clearly shows restaurants and gyms/fitness clubs are NOT the culprits for any surging COVID-19 numbers.  To segregate and target these two specific industries, along with indoor entertainment venues, suggests that those businesses are the driving sources behind COVID-19 growth in Oregon, and it is simply untrue.  We ask Salem residents to rally around our local restaurants by purchasing take-out options when they are able, and access the many to-go and delivery menus showcased on the Chamber’s Salem Eats Facebook page – a special online community of savvy local food enthusiasts.  Further, our impacted local retailers have a home to share their offerings, heading into the holiday shopping season, on the Chamber’s Salem Shops Facebook page.  The Salem Chamber applauds the thoughtful investments which local restaurants, retailers, fitness clubs, and nearly every customer-facing business in our city has made to ensure a safe and clean workplace for their customers and employees – the financial investment to upgrade their physical business spaces is profound.  The $75 million in statewide relief dollars will not mitigate the totality of financial losses from those businesses faced with closure and layoffs.  Our hearts pour out for those 1000’s of employees who are receiving their layoff notices today and earlier this week.  Those employees and business owners wages and subsequent tax contributions are counted on to buoy the Oregon economy.  We continue to ask Governor Brown to follow the scientific data she has touted by the Oregon Health Authority and not place unequitable targets on only a few industries, which provides our state residents a public perception that restaurants or fitness clubs are driving COVID-19 cases.”


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