Contact: Andrea Dominguez, Chief of Staff
Oregon House District 60 Newsletter
Issue #10
An Update on COVID-19 in Oregon
We continue to curb the Coronavirus outbreak in Oregon, with our state having some of the lowest COVID-19 rates across the country. The current case positivity rate is running between two and three percent of those tested. This is good as it shows a declining trend of positive cases, even as we test more people.
Counties Approved to Reopen
The counties in House District 60 have been busy planning, writing, collaborating, and submitting their reopening plans to the Governor for review. Yesterday, Governor Brown announced the counties whose plans have been approved to begin the reopening process. All of House District 60’s counties were approved—Baker, Grant, Harney, Lake, and Malheur Counties. These counties entered into Phase 1 today. Thank you to our County Courts and local and regional leaders, as well as to our constituents, public health providers, small businesses, and other major area sectors for all the help to get us to this reopening step.
House District 60 Coronavirus Update
House District 60’s current stats are as follows:
Coronavirus response and the state budget
As a member of the House Revenue Committee, we have been made aware that Oregon will likely be facing a $3 billion quarterly loss of revenue due to the Coronavirus response and its impacts.
Governor Brown has informed state agencies to plan for nearly $2 billion in spending cuts. State agencies will be expected to identify about 8.5 percent off of the current biennium budget, which means a 17 percent reduction for the last year of this biennium staring July 1st. The Governor has indicated that she will likely call the Legislature into a Special Session near the end of May or early June, after the release of the May Revenue Forecast, in order to balance the budget.

Philanthropic Funding for COVID 19 Relief
There are several funds set up by a collaborative of philanthropic organizations that are accepting applications for three grant programs through the Oregon Community Fund from non-profits and small businesses at the front lines of the Coronavirus outbreak. This collaborative has reached out to my office because they are not getting many applications from rural Oregon. Please send your applications here . Other resources for small businesses and non-profits can be found here .
Small business support during COVID-19
The Small Business Association (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has an estimated $100 billion in funds still available for small businesses to be able to continue to pay their employees for up to eight weeks. These loans are forgivable if the guidelines are followed.
So far, the SBA has processed over 475,000 loans for a total of over $52 billion from more than 5,100 lenders across the U.S. This total is in addition to the first round of PPP loans, where over $340 billion went out to over 1.6 million small businesses. The Governor’s Office has reported that nearly 55,000 businesses in Oregon have obtained more than $7 billion in loans through the SBA.
The average PPP loan is for $206,000 and nearly 75 percent of all loans have been for $150,000 or less. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that he expects the PPP to impact over 60 million workers, which is half the private workforce, and said that one million loans that have gone out so far are for companies with under 10 people.
Contact your financial institution or the SBA to find a local lender who can help you apply. Also, Oregon has a Small Business Navigator phone line for business owners to call for assistance navigating available resources at 833-604-0880.
Also, Business Oregon has launched a $10 million grant program to support small businesses in Oregon. This is essentially a match program to double the resources made available to communities with recovery efforts in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. More information on the program can be found here .
Federal Updates
President Trump issued an Executive Order a few weeks ago regarding protecting the nation’s food supply and protecting the health of workers during this Coronavirus pandemic. This order is meant to prevent the meat shortages that have already been projected and ensure meat processing plants remain open. I have been in contact with other legislators, our federal delegation, the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, the Oregon Beef Council, and others to try to restart Oregon’s state program for getting smaller local meat processing facilities up to USDA standards to allow greater access to meat supplies for Oregonians. Back in the 1970s, Oregon had a program of this nature that was ended due to budget cuts. We will continue working on this effort to see if there might be chance to reestablish this program through the emergency funding from the federal government.
It is also my understanding that the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association has set up a database to connect Oregonians with local ranching operations for direct beef purchasing, which can be accessed here .
Please continue to reach out to our office any time with your questions or needs, input and stories to share about how we might be able to serve you best.

Thank you and be safe.
Representative Mark Owens
House District 60
Frontier Oregon—The Best Part of the State
District Office:
Dist Office

District Office:
258 S. Oregon Street
Ontario, OR 97914