Grant gives boost to EOU Small Business Development CenterLA GRANDE — The Eastern Oregon University Small Business Development Center will be able to increase its advising resources to businesses enduring the effects of the coronavirus shutdown due to a $10,000 grant.

“Our center was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from The Ford Family Foundation,” director Greg Smith said in a press release, “and we are most appreciative.”

To date, the Small Business Development Center has assisted business owners in receiving Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan disaster funding in excess of $3.9 million dollars, according to the press release. The center also has helped preserve 316 jobs, the highest number within the state network of 19 centers, most of which are in much more densely populated areas.

The center has been holding webinars on topics such as navigating the PPP and EIDL process, managing cash flow, creating and understanding a financial statement and getting your financial house in order. The webinars are accessible on the Small Business Development Center’s YouTube channel, and more webinars are in the works.

The free app is available on your app store. Search for the term “Business Advising,” and the app shows up with the America’s SBDC logo.

To find out more about the Eastern Oregon University Small Business Development Center and its services, call the center at 541-962-1532 or email eousbdc@gmail.com. More information about The Ford Family Foundation can be found at www.tfff.org.

SBA reopens COVID-19 loan programWASHINGTON — To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and nonprofits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or nonprofit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

For additional information, visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.

New forgiveness applications for the Paycheck Protection ProgramWASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration in consultation with the Department of the Treasury posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new “EZ version” of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

•Are self-employed and have no employees.

•Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees.

•Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form.

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original eight-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5) or an extended 24-week covered period.

The SBA and Treasury also issued new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program that implements the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act and expands eligibility for businesses. with owners who have past felony convictions. The new rule, as of June 8, updates provisions relating to loan maturity, deferral of loan payments, and forgiveness provisions.

The guidance and revised application forms are available on SBA’s and Treasury’s websites. SBA will issue additional guidance regarding loan forgiveness and a revised forgiveness application to implement the PPPFA in the near future.

BLM names farmer and ag policy pro to oversee Oregon and WashingtonWASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management recently announced the appointment of Barry Bushue as the state director for Oregon and Washington.

Bushue is state executive director of the Oregon Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a family farmer. He will join the BLM in the coming weeks.

Bushue is the owner of a retail and agritourism business east of Portland, according to the press release announcement from the bureau, and for more than 25 years has been a leader and advocate for natural resource communities.

In addition to operating the family farm, Bushue was the president of the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation for nearly 20 years and vice president of the American Farm Bureau. As state director for Oregon and Washington, Bushue will lead the BLM in its management of 16.1 million acres of public lands across diverse landscapes, starting where the Columbia River crosses into northeastern Washington from Canada and ending at the headwaters of the Chetco River near California.

Governor’s office seeks members for ag boardSALEM — The Office of Gov. Kate Brown is accepting applications for two open positions on the Oregon State Board of Agriculture.

The two applicants must be actively engaged in the production of agriculture commodities. A third position — a member of the public — also is open. (The current public member has been asked to reapply for a second term by the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture). Applications must be submitted by close of business July 17.

The Oregon State Board of Agriculture is a 10-member board that advises the Oregon Department of Agriculture on policy issues, develops recommendations on key agricultural issues and provides advocacy of the state’s agriculture industry in general. The governor is responsible for appointing all state agriculture board members. Terms last four years, and members may serve two consecutive terms.

The board meets on a quarterly basis at throughout the state. Oregon law allows for compensation and travel expenses for time spent in performance of official duties.

For complete steps and details, visit www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/index.aspx, click on the “Administration” link near the bottom of the page and then follow the link to apply for appointments.

Drinking up, sales at eateries, bars downSALEM — Oregon consumers drank 45% more alcohol this May compared to last, but alcohol sales at bars and restaurants were down 86.5%, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

More than $63 million in alcohol was sold to consumers in May, and overall sales were $65 million in alcohol, according to OLCC data.

The sales at bars and restaurants were down because the statewide stay-home order was in place until May 15. When the businesses reopened, it was at less than full capacity to maintain physical distancing requirements.

The story was the same in April: $57.9 million in alcohol was sold to consumers, up 48% over the same period the year before.

, according to the data. Restaurants and bars sold $88,000 worth of alcohol in April, a 99% decline in sales over the year before.

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