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Following Gov. Kate Brown's directive moving 15 counties, including Columbia County, to the state's Extreme High Risk classification April 30, the Oregon chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) released a statement critical of the decision.

Business Impact

Some local restaurants were forced to close or limit operations during the last Extreme High Risk classification.

"Public health officials continue to identify informal social gatherings as a primary driver of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, but these new restrictions are once again targeting businesses, even those businesses that have done everything asked of them to keep their employees and customers safe," Oregon state director for NFIB Anthony Smith said.

“This approach may be effective in grabbing headlines and thereby raising public awareness that the state’s authority to fight the virus hasn’t ended yet, but it does so by unfairly punishing the small-business owners, and their employees, who have already been most severely impacted by the negative economic effects of the pandemic.

“For many Oregonians, another shutdown order, regardless of how long it lasts, will be yet another pandemic-related inconvenience that may or may not prompt a change in behavior.

“For those whose livelihoods depend on these businesses being open, this news is completely devastating, especially now – more than a year into the pandemic and with an end to restrictions on business activity now in sight.”

According to Smith, Brown had stated during a press conference April 23, that she is planning to "lift most restrictions and fully reopen our economy no later than the end of June."

Keep up with the latest Oregon small-business news at www.nfib.com/oregon and follow us on Twitter at @NFIB_OR

The National Federation of Independent Business/Oregon office is located at 3340 Commercial St. S.E. Suite 210, in Salem. The office may be reached at 503-364-4450.

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