On Sept. 16, Gov. Kate Brown announced a new program to provide masks and gloves to small business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor, in partnership with the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board, allocated $10 million from the federal CARES Act funding for the purchase of protective supplies. The state of Oregon is fulfilling orders at no charge until resources are depleted.
“We want our businesses to be able to operate in the safest manner possible right now so that we can get out of this health crisis, and get them back to full operations,” said Brown. “Our small businesses are the hardest hit, so we want to help them get the tools they need at no cost to them.”
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. Business Oregon — the state’s economic development agency — and the Department of Administrative Services are collaborating to create the order and distribution process. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees will receive a box of 200 gloves and 100 masks, with larger businesses receiving up to 500 masks and 800 gloves. For now, businesses are limited to one order, with additional orders possible at a later date depending on availability
In addition to the small business program, the Early Learning Division (ELD) is providing supplies such as gloves, disinfecting wipes, masks and more to child care providers around the state as part of the effort. The governor set aside $1.3 million from the federal Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund to purchase supplies for this critical service. Child care providers have been operating under emergency conditions since March and are following increased safety and health guidelines. Child care providers approved by ELD to operate Emergency Child Care are eligible to order supplies and will need a license/provider number to do so.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, child care providers have been doing critical work to support families and other businesses in Oregon,” said ELD Director Miriam Calderon, “These items will help providers continue operating with a focus on safety for children, parents and their staff.”
The order form is online and is now accepting orders. Businesses and child care providers can access the form at https://supplyconnector.org/states/oregon/free-ppe/.