Oregonians Mask Up to Support Local Businesses


Many Oregon businesses are taking the statewide face covering mandate in stride with creativity and innovation that gives hope in a pandemic

STATEWIDE – In light of rising COVID-19 case counts over the month of June, including a record-high cases throughout the early parts of July, Governor Kate Brown announced stepped up enforcement statewide on face covering, physical distancing, and occupancy standards in place for local businesses. The effort, led by Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), will ensure restaurants, bars, and other local businesses comply with COVID-related rules over the Fourth of July holiday weekend and in the weeks since.

Over the holiday weekend, OLCC conducted inspections to ensure that Oregonians were safe and that businesses were able to operate safely. OLCC inspectors checked on 800 businesses across a wide swath of the state during the three day weekend. Fortunately, they found that most local businesses, including bars and restaurants, were following social distancing guidelines and enforcing new face covering requirements. Only 1% of the businesses had cases severe enough to be forwarded on to Oregon OSHA for review. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Oregon businesses have stepped up to serve their communities. As truly the lifeblood of our economy, local businesses have shown a tireless, innovative spirit. And now, many local business owners have been quick to voice their support of the face covering requirement because they know that flattening the curve will allow them to remain open and keep their customers and employees safe.

Below, hear directly from Oregon businesses about the face covering requirement:

Chetco Brewing – Brookings

“As a small business owner in one of your less-affected counties, I would just like to offer a huge thank you to Governor Brown and my show of support for your bold, brave and wise move requiring all folks to wear face masks indoors.

We actually had a staff meeting last night and had made the decision to tell ALL of our customers to wear masks when they are approaching or leaving their tables, or find somewhere else to have a beer.  Enough already!  We have a stockpile of masks that we sell for a $1 donation to our local food bank.

We have been struggling mightily to stay afloat, but more importantly, as a state and a nation we are all struggling to keep our neighbors and visitors safe while showing respect for our fellow citizens.  This ruling will help take the politics out of what is a no brainer rule: Wear a mask!”

-Alex Carr-Frederick, Co-founder, Chetco Brewing

Sweet Wife Baking – Baker City

“We got this, Baker City! Help keep us open and our customer and staff safe by wearing a mask indoors when you come to pick up treats. And Sweet Wife will bring your baked goods to your car if you forget your mask at home!”

– Jenny, owner, Sweet Wife Baking

Freebridge Brewing – The Dalles

“We love all of our Freebridge friends, and we want you all to be well. With that in mind, it makes all too much sense to help be each other’s keeper. Masks are one of the most important things we can use to help significantly slow the spread of covid. So, we must enforce a no mask, no service policy. It’s not that we don’t like you, it’s that we want you and all of our friends to be healthy.”

-Steve Light and Laurie Petroff-Light, founders of Freebridge Brewing

The Trailhead – Baker City

“We’re doing our best to keep the community, our employees and Baker County healthy and safe! Wear a mask.”

– Kristin Hauter, Shop Manager, The Trailhead

Pelican Brewing – Pacific City

“The safety of our team members, guests, and communities is our #1 priority. Wearing a mask will help keep our beaches safe and open to enjoy the summer!”

-Jim Prinzing, CEO, Pelican Brewing Company

Umpqua Bank – Locations Statewide

“Not all superheroes wear capes, but they do all wear masks! We’re joining Oregon Governor Kate Brown and organizations across the state to encourage you to mask up to help protext yourself and others.”

– Cort O’Haver, CEO & Tory Nixon, President, Umpqua Bank

pFriem Family Brewers – Hood River

“The health and safety of our employees, guests, and community is our top priority. Please be considerate and wear a mask!”

-Rudy Kellner, co-founder & CEO, pFriem Family Brewers

Thanks to these businesses and many others across the state for keeping customers, employees, and communities safe.

About Author

Sam West is the speechwriter and executive assistant to Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

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