Today’s News and Links

Re-Opening — How did it go?
Updated Oregon guidelines for Re-opening
SURVEY: We want your opinion!
Experts offer 4 things to consider first
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application & FAQ

Re-Opening — How did it go?

We had a weekend of re-opening, how did it go? On Friday, under Columbia County’s Re-opening Plan certain business sectors could re-open under Phase 1 guidelines. There are progressive clarifications to the state’s directives – what we can and can’t do, what we need to do to do business safely. Find those links on our Small Business website, as well. Leave us a comment on how you felt things went for you and the public this weekend.

Updated Oregon guidelines for Re-opening

Find new, additional sector guidance for Phase 1 Re-opening. These now include transit, childcare, fitness centers, summer camps and mask guidelines –now available via the links below. — CCET







More guidelines

General Guidance for Employers

Business Sector Guidance





What do you and your business need to re-open
and get back in business?

We received great participation to our Friday survey. A lot of you are talking to us and we’d like to know more. Last day! Please take THREE MINUTES and fill out this survey so we know more about what’s up and can serve you better. We’ll publish results and what you have to say on Tuesday.

Ready to reopen your small business?
Experts offer 4 things to consider first

Small business owners Columbia County and other parts of Oregon were allowed to reopen their doors to employees and customers starting Friday. There are some important considerations to make as you’re deciding whether now is the right time. To discuss your questions and plans, contact Mark Ellsworth, at the Port of Columbia County, Clatsop County Economic Development and SBDC (CEDR) in Astoria, or the Oregon Small Business Development Center . These experienced advisors offer free, confidential counseling, available remotely. With appreciation to, here are 4 important things to consider: – CCET

Physical space
The first thing business owners need to do to ensure they are complying with New York state guidelines for reopening is evaluate their physical space: Will you be able to enforce social distancing, and how?
It’s recommended to come up with a plan for how you will adapt your space so that employees and customers are able to maintain six feet apart as much as possible. That could include moving work-stations or seating for customers further apart or designating all new areas for certain procedures or services.
Advisors also remind business owners to consider who might be able to continue working remotely to free up more space.
Finally, cleaning and sanitation needs to be considered: when and how that will take place, and who is responsible.
Business owners are reminded that this new way of operating is going to come at a cost.
“That could be detrimental to your business,” small business experts say, “if you’re only able to have a certain number of customers at a time, you’re going to have to adjust your expenses so you can still make a profit.”

Small business experts say said every business owner should sit down and put together cash flow projections and create a new monthly budget before reopening.
The point is to analyze your necessary expenses (things like rent, utilities, employees, inventory and supplies) to have a very clear understanding of how much revenue you will need to bring in to break even.
“To start out, that’s the first thing we look for with our clients,” one small business counselor said, referencing not only counseling she does with clients during the pandemic, but in general, with anyone looking to start a small business.
The goal of any business is to make a profit, but that might take some time, and business owners should be prepared for that, small business advisors point out.
When do you expect to be able to make a profit? How long are you comfortable with not making a profit?
These questions can help you pivot your business model. You may consider changing the goods or services you offer, or even how you offer them. “Essential” businesses like restaurants and grocery stores have blazed a path for this, but each business owner can think about what they might want to do differently to serve their customers’ needs. Many businesses have pivoted to eCommerce, for example.
If while you’re budgeting you determine that you need financial assistance, the first call should be to your lender or financial institution.


It’s simple, but it’s really important, small business advisors have stressed: In order to open, business owners must have a plan for how they are going to keep their employees safe and healthy.
It can be as simple as having the right equipment: masks and other personal protective gear. But it also gets more complicated quickly: Do employees need training on this new gear or new protocols? Do you have enough gear to last a few weeks? Do you need to change employees’ hours to accommodate social distancing?
Consider how much time you need to acquire equipment and educate employees about the new way of operating, business owners are cautioned, before you rush to open your doors.


Last but not at all least, communicating with customers is key.
After you address and plan for these other concerns, it’s important to share the information with customers so they know your business is available to them, and it’s safe to come in.
“Communicate changes to the public,” advisors emphasize. “That makes customers feel comfortable.”
Marketing might include information about your business’ hours, how to contact you, and what customers should expect if they are coming into your store or shop. It could include things like having the right signage and safety guidelines prominently displayed at your business.
Marketing can also be used to reach new customers. Especially if you are making changes that could mean you are targeting a new customer base, it is important to think about how you’re going to reach those people, whether it’s through your business website, social media or advertising. Having an online presence is more critical than ever for businesses to be able to reopen successfully.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application & FAQ

If you were fortunate enough to receive a PPP check, there’s a new loan forgiveness application released Friday by the SBA. It’s available here, and it’s important! You’ll also found the SBA Loan Forgiveness FAQ here — CCET

Columbia County Economic Team (CCET) and Keep It Local are working to assist businesses to navigate through the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic disruption….and plan for recovery. Business survival and retention is a top priority. We all want to emerge from the other side of this able to restore our businesses, livelihoods and economy. Reaching out countywide, Columbia County Economic Team will be communicating with you regularly.

If you have received this email as a forward from a friend and wish to receive future COVID business retention, resiliency and recovery updates from CCET, please contact us at: [email protected] or click here to be added to our be added to our list. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn by clicking the buttons below.

Paul Vogel
Interim Executive Director
Columbia County Economic Team

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