From Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for NFIB, the state’s largest small-business association.
“It’s frustrating that while the governor and state agencies have identified informal social gatherings as the primary driver of recent COVID-19 case increases in Oregon, these new restrictions are again targeting businesses.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the overwhelming majority of businesses have done everything asked of them in order to keep their employees and customers safe, which is why ‘workplace outbreaks’ at businesses that were previously required to shut down account for a very low number of the state’s total positive cases.
“It simply doesn’t make any sense to impose further restrictions on businesses that provide safer, regulated spaces for Oregonians to engage in economic and social activities in masked and socially distanced atmospheres.
“This approach will only prompt more Oregonians to seek out the same informal social gatherings that are driving the recent spread of the virus.
“One in five NFIB members are telling us that they will only be able to continue operating for a maximum of six months under current economic conditions. Another 19% are saying 12 months. In total, that’s nearly 40% of small businesses that are looking at a permanent closure within the year. If economic conditions worsen, the timeline will likely shorten.”
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