Economy & Business

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A frozen food plant in Albany has closed its doors temporarily after eight employees tested positive for COVID-19. Two other people associated with the employees also tested positive.

Photo Courtesy of Anne Marie Levis

Donations poured in during a community run drive for the Eugene 4J School District, last week. Food, cleaning supplies, and basic hygiene items were collected, which all went to students and their families. Another drive is set for Friday.

Elizabeth Gabriel / KLCC News


Due to Governor Kate Brown’s stay-home order, there have been less people parking downtown and getting parking tickets. But that means a loss in city and community revenue.

Bagel Sphere

Congress is expected to approve a new round of small business aid as soon as Thursday. One Eugene business owner who received a loan the first time around says the program has its drawbacks.

Photo Curtesy of Raj Vable

Federal loan programs were supposed to be a lifeline for small-businesses, but not all have received aid. For minority business owners, it only makes the road to full recovery steeper.

Veneta-based entrepreneur Aida Lough makes pies, tamales and vegan salsas and sells them online and at farmer’s markets as Aida Foods. Lough doesn’t let things like a pandemic stop her.

Aida Lough was ready to hire someone to package her products so she could sell them in stores. Then COVID-19 happened. “We found a fabulous co-packer but they’ve shut down," says Lough. "So instead of being placed on hold I thought I’ve gotta move forward so I just have to do it myself!” 

Kyra Buckley / KLCC

The Oregon coast has been hit especially hard by layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE (7:13 p.m. PT) — The Oregon Employment Department said Thursday it received 53,800 initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week of April 5 in addition to the 243,000 initial claims filed in the last three weeks. 

The department began its first CARES Act payments April 10, adding an extra $600 per week to unemployment benefits. 

From the week of April 5 to April 11, the department said it paid out $97 million in benefits to Oregonians.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Liquor store sales set an all-time record for the month of March in Oregon. Regulators say the spike in sales is related to the coronarivrus outbreak.

The White House /

Stimulus checks intended for millions of Americans hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic will reportedly be delayed, so that President Trump’s signature can be added to each one by the Treasury Department.

Tiffany Eckert

While many businesses have had to close during the pandemic, some are deemed ‘essential.’ Banks, hardware stores, and grocers are on the list. So are laundromats. After all, clean clothes and bedding is important to stay healthy and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The agency that regulates workplace safety in Oregon says it will begin spot checks to ensure employers are following guidelines related to preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Greg Keene / Benton County

Unemployment claims have spiked in Benton County, just like in much of Oregon. That’s according to a regional economist with the Oregon Employment Department.

Karen Richards

One Eugene company is using its skills to expand operations during COVID-19 restrictions. Marley’s Monsters is donating N-95 mask covers to first responders near and far.

Aubrey Bulkeley

Like most everything during this time, Eugene’s Riverfront Park project has needed to make adjustments. However, construction on the next phase will continue as scheduled.

Lane County Farmers Market

The Lane County Farmers Market officially began their regular season last week under statewide Coronavirus restrictions. The market is considered an essential service and is open for business, but with a few changes.

The Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, announced they'll add and additional $30 million in benefits for both April and May. SNAP households should see extra benefits starting April 10 and new members on April 29.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

A new program meant to help small businesses retain employees during the coronavirus pandemic is struggling to fulfill its mission, said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon.

Food for Lane County

Area food banks have quickly adapted to changing circumstances, even though canceled food drives and the need for safe handling have disrupted their supply.

Brian Bull / KLCC

With thousands of Oregonians out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, one industry wants people to know they’re hiring: greenhouses and nurseries.

The pandemic has left thousands of Oregonians without work and many are scrambling to pay bills. The Eugene Water and Electric Board saw a surge in customers seeking help on the first of the month.

Moss Crossing

Many cannabis shops are experiencing an economic “high” lately, as people seek to alleviate the stress of the pandemic. Yet, as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, dispensary owners also know they’ve little recourse should they go under.

Provided by Annie Marie. / Bella's LuvBar Butter/Bella's Soap Box.

A Veneta company is taking on COVID-19 in the best way it knows how.

Lane County

The Lane County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the use of up to $5 million in emergency funds to address COVID-19 on Tuesday . The county had previously authorized the use of $750,000, on March 17.

Alachua County (public domain) /

Coronavirus-related complaints are pouring in to the Oregon agency that regulates workplace safety.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Liquor and wine stores have seen a slight uptick in sales since the more socially-restrictive pandemic measures were enacted, including limits on public gatherings. KLCC’s Brian Bull checked in on a couple local establishments.

Eugene Weekly

If you’re one of the thousands of people in Lane County who reach for a free copy of the Eugene Weekly, you will notice it feels different lately. Thinner. Like businesses everywhere, the alternative newspaper is experiencing the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Home confinement and stress has boosted business for some products, including cannabis.

Camas Swale Farm

Worldwide, people are working through what it means to be knocked off course and find a new normal, which is one definition of resilience. We’ve been airing a monthly series on Natural Disasters and Preparedness, funded by the UO Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, but this month we reset our compass. We found some people who deal with uncertainty in their work, and asked what resilience means to them. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

Over a week ago, state rules were relaxed to permit Oregon restaurants and bars to deliver alcohol and provide curbside pickup.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’s to help these businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.