Economy & Business

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

Melorie Begay / KLCC News

One of Eugene’s most popular vegan restaurants is looking for community donations to stay open. Cornbread Cafe, like many restaurants in the area, has struggled to keep revenue flowing during the pandemic.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

Every weekend without fail, Burrito Brigade volunteers prep, cook, and distribute hundreds of vegan burritos across Eugene and Springfield. While some adjustments were made, COVID-19 hasn’t slowed or prevented operations. KLCC’s Melorie Begay stopped by a volunteer session to learn more.

Rachael McDonald

The City of Eugene is seeking proposals for a mixed-income housing development at 11th and Willamette. The former Lane Community College Building there has been vacant for seven years.

Oregon ski resorts are eager to offer a healthy way to have fun this winter, and they’ve added new pandemic safety protocols.  

Down to Earth Facebook page

The traditional holiday shopping season kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. But this is not a normal year due to the pandemic.

Oregon Employment Department

Nearly a quarter of a million unemployed Oregonians will receive a so-called “waiting week” payment this week.

Lane County Farmers market

Both the Lane County Farmers Market and the Eugene Holiday Market are remaining outdoors to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. The idea is to create a safe, festive atmosphere where people can buy local.


The Willamalane Park and Recreation District in Springfield announced on Wednesday they're issuing another round of furloughs, affecting 144 employees. An official says the decision is a result of the two-week ‘freeze.'  

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Grocery stores in Oregon won’t have to accept bottle returns for the next couple of weeks.

Oregon Employment Department

Oregon’s unemployment rate fell once again in October. But the shutdown of some businesses due to the coronavirus could put the brakes on the rebound.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New rules meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus in workplaces took effect Monday. Oregon OSHA says the temporary rules will, among other things, require employers to quickly notify workers if a colleague tests positive for COVID-19. It also requires employers to conduct a risk assessment for their worksites. The rules will be in place through May.

Rachael McDonald

Restaurants are once again having to make a pivot away from in-person dining as they prepare for the two-week freeze ordered by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

Starting today (11/16/2020) Lane County is accepting applications for rental assistance. There is a limited number available and it’s on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

OSPIRG Trouble in Toyland Report

The Oregon State Public Interest Research Group released their annual Trouble in Toyland report, week. Findings warn holiday shoppers of potential safety hazards for children.  

Karen Richards

Whether it’s changes to travel plans or the size of gatherings, this year’s holiday season will be atypical for many people. Area farms and butchers have made a few changes in 2020, but there should be plenty of turkey and other locally-raised meat to gobble up this Thanksgiving.  

Clay Banks / Unsplash

With the pandemic and natural disasters taking an economic toll, it’d be an understatement to say 2020 wasn’t a boom time for most business owners.  As the holiday retail season gets underway, hopes still run high in Lane County for the rest of the year.

Rachael McDonald

  Eugene’s Holiday Market will be a little different this year, given the pandemic. The seasonal event featuring local artisans will be outdoors.

City of Eugene

The City of Eugene has extended their Streatery Program through next April. The program started in June to help businesses increase dining capacity by offering no-fee permits to use the public right of way for added space. 


Rachael McDonald

Oregon-based Brew Dr. Tea Company, formerly known as Townshends, will be closing all their tea houses by the end of October. 

Tiffany Eckert

According to The National Human Activity Pattern, people spend nearly 90% of their lives inside buildings. Long before the novel coronavirus reached our shores, scientists have been studying how pathogens behave in the built environment. Places like homes, workplaces and schools. Now 8 months into a global pandemic, much of that research is being put to use- testing for the presence of viruses in occupied spaces-- in the hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Rachael McDonald

Restaurants have been some of the hardest-hit businesses in the pandemic. In Lane County, the industry lost more than 1,600 jobs since March, according to a regional economist. We checked in with three restaurant owners in Eugene. 

Andy Nelson / Register-Guard/pool

The state is urging Oregonians who are rebuilding after this month’s wildfires to make sure any contractors they hire are properly licensed.


Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)--  who have also lost food because of the wildfires—may be eligible for replacement benefits.

Cafe Yumm!

The Broadway location of Cafe Yumm! in Eugene will be closing its doors for the final time on Friday, September 25. 

Abbelone vineyard

Eugene-area wine lovers worried about smoke tainting their local vineyards can rest easy. Experts say recent wildfires aren’t likely to affect the grapes.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

Pre-pandemic, electric bikes, or E-bikes, were already one of the fastest growing sectors in the transportation industry. Now, with more people taking an interest in outdoor recreation, sales have skyrocketed globally. A new Eugene e-bike store is hoping to be a part of the trend, and the shift experts predict will be the future of commuting.

Their voices broke with emotion and, often, the line broke up too.

Oregonians who have struggled to get unemployment benefits shared their experiences with lawmakers during a remote hearing Thursday. Dozens more submitted written testimony.

“It is confusing. It is terrifying. I don’t understand what’s going on,” said Audrey Heesch, a Washington County resident who applied for benefits in March. “I cannot get help from a human being to give me direction.”

Igor Rodrigues / Unsplash

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing economic upheaval through 2020, retailers’ prospects for the holiday shopping season look dicey.

Karen Richards

Gardening supply is one business that’s done well, and even blossomed, during the pandemic. Vegetable growers and landscapers both are spending more money this year. 


Ben Shapiro

Eugene-based company, Emerald Broadband, was awarded $1.5 million of CARES Act funds as part of Business Oregon’s Rural Broadband Capacity Program. The grant money was awarded to finish an existing program in Western Lane County.