Thanksgiving is this week, and what would normally be a bustling time of year looks like a slow-motion video.
One way you can help our community during this two-week freeze, if you are financially able, is to purchase pick-up orders from our local restaurants or gift certificates as holiday gifts. Our restaurants and bars are once again restricted to take out, which jeopardizes the future of many of these local businesses.
This update has information about ways you can support our local economy this holiday season to help small businesses survive the pandemic, as well as resources for keeping yourself healthy through these difficult times.
The holiday season normally ushers in a time of local economic prosperity as consumers purchase goodies and gifts, but this year will look much different due to COVID-19.
The Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce is asking the community to consider shopping locally for the holidays, and so Chamber staff created a festive guide.
If you have a product or service you’d like to have included in the holiday guide, please fill out the form for the Chamber to include.
Supporting local businesses during this time will help these companies bounce back and our economy to recover. Right now, that support means shopping local, following health guidelines and providing grace and understanding as businesses adapt to and navigate new guidelines being required by the state. Take the pledge.
Holiday Market in the Park Blocks
The Holiday Market, with its extensive array of craftspeople, returns to its downtown roots by moving from its indoor venue at the Lane Events Center to the outdoor Park Blocks.
The Holiday Market will be open at the Park Blocks from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays, from Nov. 21 to Dec. 19 and will require people to wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing. The Holiday Farmers Market also remains on the Park Blocks each Saturday through Dec. 19 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Layoff Aversion Funds
A limited amount of new funds will be available to help Lane County businesses keep their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the State of Oregon Two-week Freeze requirements that began November 18, Lane Workforce Partnership will distribute a limited amount of Layoff Aversion Funds in Lane County to the following types of Lane County eligible employers with fewer than 20 employees:
- Fitness organizations
- Other indoor recreational facilities
Lane County Employers interested in receiving funds should complete the Application Form in its entirety (all fields are required) and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. Initial distributions will be made during the week of Dec. 7.
Business Investment Grants
The City of Eugene and Community Lending Works are hosting a grant opportunity for small businesses with priority of award going to those owned by black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) community members and women. Eugene businesses in the most impacted economic sectors (hospitality, retail, arts, and culture) ranging from 2 to 25 employees who have experienced negative impacts from COVID are eligible to apply.
Award amount is based on employee count:
- Businesses with 2-10 employees are eligible for $5,000 awards
- Businesses with 11-25 employees are eligible for $10,000 award
The grant opportunity opens today and applications will be accepted through end of day on December 6, 2020 – see Community Lending Works website for more details.
Learn about additional resources on our Business Support page.
Mental Wellbeing During the Holidays
None of us expected the pandemic would still be impacting our lives when the holiday season came around. Holidays often bring up a range of emotions for people, from joy to loneliness, and this year has been especially difficult for everyone.
The CDC has put together a guide for holiday celebrations and small gatherings with suggestions of how to safely celebrate (you’ll notice that wearing masks and keeping 6 feet of distance continues to be one of the top recommendations). Getting outside is one great way to take care of our mental health. Consider some of these options:
- Many parts of Oregon already have snow – go for a drive to enjoy the scenic beauty, or bring a sled along
- Enjoy the fresh air at Eugene’s numerous parks and trails
- Take a tour of Eugene’s 20×21 Mural Project
- Showcase your talent and win prizes in the Hult Center’s Still at Home Talent Show – Holiday Edition!
- Try creating something seasonal, like homemade eggnog, or a wreath for your front door
- Make homemade gifts to mail or deliver to loved ones
Taking care of your emotional health and wellbeing is important right now. It’s vital that we all try to decrease stress and anxiety. It can help keep you physically healthy and, in turn, help those around you. See our Health and Wellbeing page and open the Mental Health tab to find helpful local and national resources.
Stay Safe This Holiday Season
Follow the Four:
- Stay six feet apart
- Wear a mask
- Wash Your hands
- Avoid large gatherings
See a list of Community Resources for physical and mental health, food, housing, businesses, employees, schools and children, as well as information in Spanish.
Also learn how you can help. Our partners have a significant amount of information available online. Please visit these resources for the most up to date information:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- State of Oregon
- Oregon Health Authority
- Lane County Public Health
Lane County Call Center: Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 541-682-1380