April 8, 2020
Applications Open: Portland Small Business Relief Fund Loans
Prosper Portland has worked hard to distribute $1 million in small business relief grants to more than 200 small businesses. They’ve been leading on economic relief work since day one, and many employees are working sleepless nights to get Portlanders every grant, loan, & resource possible.
Beginning Wednesday, April 8, The Small Business Relief Fund loan program will accept applications for zero-interest loans up to $50,000. Be sure you have the following information on hand: Oregon Business Registration number, 2019 gross revenue, estimate of revenue loss due to COVID-19, number of employees, years in business, payroll information, and City of Portland business license number.
April 6, 2020
#AskMayor Wheeler Twitter Q&A
On Thursday, April 9 at 3pm, I will participate in a Twitter Q&A, giving you a virtual opportunity to interact and ask questions about the City's COVID-19 response. Follow @TedWheeler, tweet your questions using #AskMayorWheeler and help us spread the word.
April 3, 2020
Using a Cloth Face Covering in Public Places
Following the latest guidance from the CDC, Multnomah County health officials recommend that you wear cloth face coverings in public, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. The CDC is not recommending you stock up and use surgical masks. Please reserve those for healthcare workers.
A scarf, bandana, shirt, or towel will do. Any type of cloth that will completely cover your mouth is okay. What we know about this virus continues to develop as we learn more from patients being treated. Many of you who are healthy could have the virus and don't know it. A face cover is a preventive action we can all take to stop the transmission.
More information on how to wear a cloth face covering and how to make a covering with no sew instructions are available on the CDC website.
April 2, 2020
Resources for Food Assistance and Donations
Putting food on the table to feed your family does not have to be an added stress. Families and individuals who have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for SNAP or WIC. Many local organizations and community partners also continue to operate at a high demand to ensure children, seniors and our most vulnerable neighbors are fed during this crisis.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
SNAP offers food benefits to eligible, low-income individuals and families. Visit the Oregon Department of Human Services website to learn if you are eligible to apply. Current SNAP recipients now can purchase groceries online, as ordered by Governor Brown.
Women Infant Children
WIC serves lower-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under age 5 who have health or nutrition risks. To fill out the WIC interest form and to learn if you are eligible, visit the Oregon Health Authority website. You can also call 2-1-1 (interpreters available), text your zip code to 898211, or email email@example.com.
Accessing Food on School Sites and in Multnomah County
Locations of schools providing meals are available from our partners below:
Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Food Bank sites remain open. To find a distribution center near your home, visit their website. You can also contact them via phone at (503) 505-7061 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 1, 2020
Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Treasury is ready to distribute nearly $350 billion in federal loans immediately to help small businesses and nonprofits rehire employees and maintain salary levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. To learn more about the program and how to apply, please visit the SBA website.
Apply ASAP. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.
Where can I apply? You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders.
The application, including more information for borrowers and lenders, can be found on the U.S. Department of Treasury website.
March 30, 2020
Have questions about Governor Brown’s Stay Home Order? The Portland Police Bureau has information you need to know here.
Our Small Business Relief Fund is now accepting applications. Learn more here.
March 27, 2020
Portland Small Business Relief Fund
Beginning March 30, Portland small business owners can apply to the Portland Small Business Relief Fund. Prosper Portland, the economic and urban development agency for the City of Portland, will provide grants up to $10,000 and no interest loans to up to $50,000. Businesses experiencing hardships caused by the COVID-19 outbreak can learn more about the fund on the Prosper Portland website.
March 26, 2020
Our friends in cities around the world are sharing a nightly cheer to honor and thank health care workers who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s join them!
Our nurses, doctors, and first responders continue to risk their health and well-being every single day to make sure that the sickest among us get the care they need to stay alive. Other frontline heroes like grocery store employees, delivery drivers, chefs, and others make sure we have food on the table to eat. Let’s also cheer to boost the morale for all those who are struggling - a nightly reminder - that no one is alone.
So set your alarms on repeat for 7 pm.
Step outside on your balcony, front porch, or open a window and clap and cheer for our frontline heroes.
We begin the nightly ritual this FRIDAY! We’ll continue until COVID-19’s deadly impact is history.
Spread the word.
Please help spread the word. Include #PDXThanksYou to get the word out.
History will look back at this moment and see a community rise together and support each other in ways that hardly seemed imaginable even just a few weeks ago.
Stay strong, Portland. We’ll get through this together.
March 25, 2020
Help Is On The Way
Today, as a council, we unanimously approved $3 million in emergency funding for our COVID-19 response. This money will be used for small business relief and the city's emergency response.
More help is on the way. Today, as a council, we unanimously approved $3 million in emergency funding for our COVID-19 response. This money will be used for small business relief and the city's emergency response.
As a City, our priorities are to protect public health and maintain the essential services that Portlanders rely on to keep moving forward. My colleagues and I are laser-focused on both achieving those goals and supporting the resilience and recovery of our community, both socially and economically.
Tuesday, I was joined by Portland Police Chief Jamie Resch, Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Director Mike Myers, Chief Administrative Officer Tom Rinehart and Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Director Chris Warner to share what the city has done and continues to do—to protect public health, its employees, to ensure critical services remain online and to respond to citywide emergencies during the COVID-19 crisis. We are grateful for every public servant who is working around the clock. Thank you.
Watch the press conference here.
Following Governor Brown’s executive order to stay home, Portland Police Bureau will be educating violators about the importance of following the Governor’s directive, while also preparing to mobilize in uncertain times.
Police Chief Resch assured us that Portland Police continues to take calls for service and Fire Chief Boone said she is modifying their response for the most critical calls. Emergency responders remind people not to call 911 unless there’s a true emergency, and to call the police non-emergency line instead at (503) 823-3333.
PBOT Director Chris Warner has also reduced the frequency of the Streetcar and is focused PBOT’s efforts on keeping our transportation system running and addressing essential needs like sewer breaks and broken signals.
If Portlanders see an urgent street repair that needs to be reported, they should call 503-823-1700. This is our street maintenance hotline and it is staffed 24 hours a day.
With the citywide State of Emergency due to expire at 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, I extended the emergency declaration by two more weeks with the expectation that additional extensions will be needed so long as this pandemic continues.
We collectively control how long this crisis lasts. My actions impact your health, your actions impact my health. We’ll get through this together.
Stay home and save lives. Thank you for looking out for each other.
March 24, 2020
Eviction Moratorium Frequently Asked Questions
Last week, the City of Portland and Multnomah County enacted a moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent for tenants experiencing a substantial loss of income in connection to the COVID-19 crisis. Please view the Eviction Moratorium FAQ on our Rental Services webpage to learn more, including the process tenants need to follow. Please share this information with your networks. We will continue updating this page as more information becomes available.
March 23, 2020
I want to thank Governor Brown for taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the absence of a vaccine, the best defense we have right now is protecting the community from infection with social distancing. The Governor’s statewide Stay Home, Save Lives Executive Order strengthens and reinforces the seriousness of that need:
Learn about Portland Police Bureau's education-first approach to enforcing the order.
Click here for information about Portland Parks & Recreation closures.
March 21, 2020
In the latest podcast from the Portland Police Bureau, Chief Jami Resch answers questions regarding the Police Bureau's response during the COVID-19 outbreak.
March 20, 2020
Mayor Wheeler Statement Regarding Draft Stay at Home Order.
This is a fast-moving pandemic. The situation is changing hour-by-hour.
We want to stay ahead of the virus and are planning for every contingency.
On matters of social distancing and other public health measures, we are in very close consultation with public health and medical experts. We are relying on their guidance.
We are working on further social distancing measures, including a directive to community members to stay at home except for essential purposes.
We can’t afford to get caught flat-footed. Days, or even hours, can make a difference.
This doesn’t mean people will be locked in their homes.
It means that if they don’t have to be out, they shouldn't be.
In the current draft, things that would be allowed include:
Trips to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the doctor, the vet, take-out food with appropriate social distancing, taking the dog for a walk, going for a hike or a jog, caring for a family member or a pet in another household.
In this framework many businesses would be considered essential.
These will likely include healthcare facilities, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, farming, gas stations, auto repair shops, hardware stores, banks and credit unions, dry cleaners, delivery services, take-out, manufacturing companies, and more.
This list isn’t exhaustive and it could change, but it gives a sense of what the status quo would be during a Stay at Home order.
I am working with our jurisdictional partners on this order.
We will be updating you very soon.
Portland Bureau of Development Services has updated their temporary closure notice in response to the COVID-19 situation.
Please click here to learn how permitting centers and new permit applications will be affected.
Click here for updates from Portland Water Bureau
Portland Water Bureau has closed their N. Tillamook St. location to walk-in customers. Learn how customers can reach them or make payments here.
March 19, 2020
You are not alone. We are here to help.
Public servants are working around the clock to make sure critical services continue to operate. Neighbors are stepping up to care for each other in extraordinary ways. Thank you.
The City, County, and State have been in constant communication about our joint response. We are united in protecting this community.
Recently, Governor Kate Brown, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and I announced executive orders declaring states of emergency in Oregon, Multnomah County, and Portland.
The joint County-City adoption of a single policy ensures that community members and landlords are clear about their rights and responsibilities during this event. The County’s policy adopted by the City builds on my citywide Emergency Declaration:
- A temporary moratorium on all residential evictions in the City of Portland and Multnomah County for tenants on the basis of nonpayment of rent, due to wage loss resulting from COVID-19.
- No late fee can be charged or collected for rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in the moratorium
- After the emergency declaration is lifted, renters will have 6 months to repay the rent they owe. This action does not freeze rents, it gives people extra time to pay.
I’m very proud of the partnership we’ve had with Chair Kafoury and Multnomah County, the state, and our regional partners. The way Portland City Council has come together to respond aggressively and in a unified way to this crisis is also a testament to our united resolve. My colleagues and I are laser-focused on supporting the resilience and recovery of our community.
The passing of a City ordinance adopting the County’s eviction moratorium is just a first step.
We are also looking out for landlords, having conversations with banks, lending institutions and state and federal partners to ensure an equitable outcome for everyone within the economic cycle affected by the eviction moratorium.
How the City of Portland is Responding to COVID-19
- Relief for renters
- Relief for water bills & other services
- $150,000 in grants to businesses affected
- More aid for outreach providers
- More shelter beds
- Expanded hygiene stations
Portland, I also know many of you are struggling financially.
That’s why we created a dedicated Economic Impact Task Force (led by Prosper Portland) to work on immediate, near-term, and long-term actions to help our local economy.
Immediate actions are underway, and there is much more to come.
To help vulnerable businesses, Prosper Portland is immediately making $150,000 available in the form of grants – partnering with the Jade District Neighborhood Prosperity Network – to get assistance to businesses as quickly as possible. Those interested in learning more can call 503-823-4000 or email email@example.com.
In addition, Prosper Portland is working with the City’s own direct commercial tenants and borrowers to mitigate economic impact through a deferral of rent and loan payments for the next three months.
More help is on the way. We’ll be announcing them soon.
The best way to slow the spread of the economic fallout of this virus is to aggressively push action, policy and measures to support local residents, workers, and employers.
We will get through this together, and on the other side we will rebuild, together.
Yes, these are unprecedented times. Yes, it seems bleak right now. But incredible acts of service are happening all over our community during this time of crisis.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call my office at (503) 823-4120.
March 18, 2020
Portland Bureau of Transportation has compiled a list of questions and answers regarding COVID-19.
For guidance on public transportation, e-scooters, ride sharing, and more please visit their website.
Portland Parks & Recreation is working to keep you informed about changes and closures related to COVID-19.
Please visit their website for detailed information.
March 17, 2020
Today, Portland and Multnomah County announced executive orders declaring a local eviction moratorium.
Tomorrow, Portland City Council will take up an Emergency Ordinance adopting the County’s moratorium within city limits.
The joint County-City adoption of a single policy will ensure that community members and landlords are clear about their rights and responsibilities during this event.
Our governments and our community are coming together in unprecedented ways to support each other.
We know you have a lot of questions. You can view an FAQ about the eviction moratorium here.
March 16, 2020
The City of Portland has placed hygiene stations throughout the community—portable toilets and handwashing stations—so that everyone has access to this critical health resource.
March 13, 2020
Multnomah County has announced that all Multnomah County libraries are closed until further notice.
Click here for more detailed information.
March 12, 2020
The Mayor declared a State of Emergency for the City of Portland. It is in effect for two weeks, with the potential of extension.
The State of Emergency gives the City the flexibility it needs to support our public health authorities at the County and State as they respond to this public health crisis.
Multnomah County and the State of Oregon have also declared a State of Emergency, and Governor Brown banned gatherings of more than 250 people for the next month.
The City has been working closely with Multnomah County and the State of Oregon concerning COVID-19 – coordinating well before Oregon had a confirmed case.
The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) is leading the City’s efforts to prioritize actions we must take as the situation develops. PBEM is actively coordinating with Multnomah County Public Health Department and Oregon Health Authority (OHA), to track the situation and ensure all available resources are ready.
In our community, Multnomah County is the lead for public health agencies. We rely on safety guidance from Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines.
We know that this pandemic is moving rapdily, and we know that Portlanders want to know how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
The most important step we can all take is to follow the advice of County and State health officials. I ask you to do this, for yourself and for your fellow Portlanders.
This page will be updated as information changes.
Complete and current information can also be found on Multnomah County’s website.
What is the City of Portland doing?
We are aggressively protecting our City employees by limiting gatherings and advising workers to work remotely where possible.
As of today, city meetings and events of over 25 people will be cancelled. This will also affect City Council meetings. Council meetings will follow best “social distancing” practices.
We’re are also working to help small and large employers recoup losses from cancelled events.
The Mayor directed a City team to generate ideas for a stimulus package. That team will work with Prosper Portland, the City’s economic development agency, to convene a COVID-19 task force to figure out how else we can help.
We are also coordinating closely with Multnomah County and our Joint Office of Homeless Services to take measures that protect our very vulnerable community members.
We placed hygiene stations throughout the community – portable toilets and handwashing stations – so that everyone has access to this critical health resource.
We’ve committed necessary funds to keep winter shelters open so we don’t lose capacity as we work to give each person in a shelter more space. We are also funding motel vouchers for our most vulnerable neighbors.
How You Can Stay Healthy
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.
- Cover your sneezes and coughs with a flexed elbow or tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Sanitize objects and surfaces you touch often.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
Posters and fact sheets from the Multnomah County Health Department are available here.
Locations and information about emergency hand washing stations can be found here.
- COVID-19 causes mild to severe illness in the lungs. People who are ill with the virus generally have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. (Source: CDC fact sheet)
- The best way to protect yourself is to avoid exposure to the virus. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, should consider postponing nonessential travel to areas affected by COVID-19. (Source: NPR)
- We know that businesses owned by Asian-Americans are hurting right now due to unfounded fears, stigmas, and misinformation. Now is the time to show our support for them.
The CDC predicts widespread transmission could occur. The case count may increase, but there are ways for you and your family to be prepared and stay healthy.
Resources for Business Owners, Employees and Households
- Business owners are encouraged to prepare and review a response plan, perform routine environmental cleaning, remain flexible with leave policies, and advise sick employees to stay home. The CDC has released guidance for businesses to plan for and respond to COVID-19.
- Whether you are a part-time, full-time or a contract employee, I suggest you ask your managers to scale up general awareness of precautionary measures that can be taken in your workplace to prevent infection from COVID-19. Posters and fact sheets from the Multnomah County Health Department are available here: https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-resources.
- To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, create a household plan of action. The CDC released a checklist to prepare for and prevent community transmission. You may have seen news stories about hand sanitizer in short supply. It’s true. Here are instructions to make homemade hand sanitizer.