Support for businesses in the wake of the Eagle Creek fire

Steps and resources to consider to help stabilize your business

Federal, state, local partners continue to hear from businesses impacted by the Eagle Creek Fire. We know that revenue and income losses due to the fire have been significant, and with I-84 still closed, continue to accrue. Below are a few steps and resources to consider to help stabilize yo Save ur business in the short run.

  • Complete SBA interest form (Worksheet) to help unlock potential federal relief.

    The U.S. Small Business Administration may be able to provide low interest loans to small businesses and private nonprofit organizations in the wake of the Eagle Creek Fire. To activate the program, the SBA must receive a request from Governor Brown and completed Worksheets that show sufficient interest. Please complete this form (use Sep. 2, 2017 as the impact start date) and return it to Barbara Ayers at Hood River County Emergency Management: Barbara.ayers@co.hood-river.or.us

  • Connect with the Oregon Employment Department to discuss strategies to stabilize and maintain a relationship with your employees.

    • The Oregon Employment Department offers a variety of programs to help fill gaps in wages.
    • Employees affected by the Eagle Creek Fire can file an unemployment insurance claim.
    • For additional information on how file an unemployment insurance claim, please call 1-800- 436-6191 and identify yourself as being impacted by the Eagle Creek Fire. You can also obtain additional information on how to file an unemployment insurance claim at employment.oregon.gov
    • The Oregon Work Share program helps fill those gaps while allowing an employer and employee to maintain a relationship and avoid a layoff. Your employer must apply for a Work Share plan by contacting the UI Special Programs Center at 1-800-436-6191 or you can learn more about the program online at OregonWorkShare.org
    • Remember to connect employees to 2-1-1 for additional services

    Employers and employees can also access these service in-person at their local WorkSource Center.

  • Talk with your private insurance provider and call a consumer advocate if you face roadblocks.

    Private insurance often includes coverage for unforeseen closures or lost business. Reach out to your insurance provider, and if you have concerns or difficulties, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has consumer advocates which help businesses and individuals with their insurance questions and complaints. If you have a question about your insurance claim, you can contact a consumer advocate at 888-877-4894.

    Here is some helpful information, DCBS put together on filing claims after a wildfire:

  • Connect with your local Small Business Development Center to design a strategy.

    The CGCC SBDC can have an experienced counselor meet with you to support your efforts to plan the best strategies for moving forward.  They can assist with: Budgeting, forecasting and cash flow recovery strategies; support with insurance claims and disaster assistance applications; access to short term credit assistance programs that may be available. Contact Rick Leibowitz at (541) 506-6120 or rleibowitz@cgcc.edu

  • Remember to connect with your lenders and explore other public lending resources.

    Private and public lenders will often be flexible in disaster situations to help businesses meet their obligations. Reach out to your commercial lending officer, the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, or Business Oregon to discuss current loans or additional financing.

    • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) has low interest loans available to support, including working capital to assist businesses affected by natural disasters as they return to profitability. Contact Eric Nerdin at eric@mcedd.org or 541-296-2266 for more information. Existing MCEDD and OIB loan clients should be in contact with Eric to discuss options for their existing loans.
    • Business Oregon also offers flexible loan products. Interested businesses should call Tom Schnell at 541-280-1631.
  • Stay connected.

    Continue to check in with your fellow business owners, local chambers, business organizations, and networks for information and ideas. Small business owners are a resilient community. Many business owners have weathered downturns before, and often the best ideas come from the business community itself. For example, businesses in Cascade Locks have already banded together to help stabilize revenue through the Cascade Locks Strong campaign: cascadelocksstrong.com

  • Stay tuned.

    Federal, state, and local partners continue to look at a variety of routes to help to stabilize businesses and people after a significant statewide fire season. Recovery will be a long-term process, and we will continue to send you information and resources as it becomes available.