Gov. Brown’s framework for reopening Oregon

A day after announcing a pact with governors from California and Washington to coordinate the reopening of West Coast states, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown held a press conference Tuesday to address the coming steps and criteria the states will be considering.

While not committing to specific measurements, Gov. Brown laid out three key goals to meet before restrictions on businesses and gatherings will be listed.

  1. Spread of the coronavirus is slowed as evidenced by declining number of new cases
  2. Adequate personal protection equipment is procured for front-line workers
  3. A stronger public health framework is implemented, including increased testing capacity, contact tracing, and quarantine programs

The governor emphasized that the path forward will be incremental and slower than we want. It will be science-based, she said, with health care, business, and community leaders invited to provide input.

The approach will take geographic considerations into account, Gov. Brown said, and  the post-shutdown economic recovery will take all regions and sectors into consideration, mentioning rural Oregon and communities of color in particular.

Coordination with Washington and California may include procurement of medical protection equipment as states and private industries compete for a limited supply. The states will also work together to reopen their economies in tandem.

As for federal aid, Gov. Brown said money dedicated to states in the CARES Act can only be used to cover un-budgeted coronavirus expenses, not the toll from closed businesses. This means it can’t be used to backfill lost tax revenue.

While the time frame and many details are still unclear, the broad outline of the path back is beginning to take shape.

Know Who to Trust

As the federal government begins to distribute $349 billion in loans and grants to small businesses through the CARES Act, scammers are looking for a way to cash in. It’s a good time to remember who to trust as you’re focused on running your business.

  • Your bank or lender is the only approved entity to connect you with the federal loan through the Small Business Administration.
  • Third parties may assist you in connecting to resources, but you should only work with trusted partners and not businesses who contact you out of the blue.
  • The federal or state government will not reach out to you directly about signing up for a loan.


  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has a resource page with links to the Paycheck Protection Program as well as EIDL and SBA loans debt relief.
  • The Oregon Department of Justice is using its Consumer Protection Page to warn of scams and price gouging.