Right now it’s our responsibility to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Yet that doesn’t mean we have to stop supporting local businesses. Really they need our help now more than ever.
Currently the state’s restaurants and bars are restricted to carry-out and delivery only, with no on-site consumption permitted. Under the Executive Order, all public gatherings are canceled statewide regardless of size, exempting essential services like grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
Thankfully you can still support these local businesses and their families. Consider the following ways to make a difference — because incremental efforts can go a long way.
Instead of raiding your pantry rations at every meal, order takeout or delivery. Many restaurants are still cooking up their favorite dishes during lunch and dinner hours, with food available for pickup or delivery — see the growing list below. Local farms are also participating in online orders — with pop-up farmers markets and even drive-through pickups available.
Not to fear for the beer lover, as many craft breweries and bottle shops are selling beers to go. You can pick up your favorite bottled suds at Portland’s NWIPA, Bend’s Broken Top Bottle Shop and Ashland’s Ostras, to name a few. Many brewpubs are offering both beer and food takeout, including Xicha Brewing in Salem, Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Prodigal Son in Pendleton and Barley Brown’s in Baker City.
Oregon wineries are also offering curbside pickup. In addition to setting up drive-through pickups, Stoller Estate loaned their outdoor tent and heaters to the local hospital.
You might use this time to coordinate meal drop-offs for your at-risk neighbors — after all, we’re all in this together. And for extra precaution, sanitize the to-go containers or use your own glasses and plates.
Destinations with restaurants offering takeout
- Tualatin Valley (Portland Region)
- Portland (Portland Region)
- Oregon City (Portland Region)
- McMinnville (Willamette Valley)
- Lane County (Willamette Valley)
- Albany (Willamette Valley)
- Corvallis (Willamette Valley)
- Jefferson (Willamette Valley)
- Bend (Central Oregon)
- Hood River (Mt. Hood & the Gorge)
- The Dalles (Mt. Hood and the Gorge)
- Reedsport/Winchester Bay (Oregon Coast)
- Jacksonville (Southern Oregon)
Buy gift cards
Not all restaurants or retailers are able to stay open for takeout right now. Fortunately you can show your support by purchasing gift cards online. In Portland the Chef’s Table gift card is redeemable at 16 restaurants across town and PDX SOS showcases small businesses selling gift certificates. Another list of Oregon retailers offering gift cards — featuring cafes, salons, retail stores and more — is at 368 businesses and counting.
Support farmers by buying produce directly from the source or a partner organization like a CSA or farmers market. Try the farm stand directory by the Oregon Farm Bureau. Gorge Grown connects residents with farm businesses of the Columbia River Gorge, while Lincoln County Local Food looks at its coastal community and Willamette Farm & Food focuses on Lane County. Homegrown Delivery is a organic produce delivery service based in Eugene and Springfield. The Portland Area CSA lists farms in Multnomah County and far beyond.
Culinary Breeding Network features a frequently updated directory of grain, flour, produce, seed and gardening resources. Local Harvest is a national farm directory that is well populated with Oregon companies. Oregon Tilth also has a product directory that extends beyond farms. The Oregon Farmers Market Association lists all the farmers market across the state. Oregon Pasture Network, a program of Friends of Family Farmers, shows search results for co-ops, CSAs, buying clubs and where to find local meat products. Oregon Cattleman’s Association lists local meat producers by county. Portland-based Wilder Land & Sea will bring local meat and seafood to your door, while At Your Door delivers alcohol products.
As always, but now more than ever, think local. Fill up your reading list at the online stores of Oregon’s top independent bookshops. Shop virtually at Southern Oregon businesses and beyond. Skip the bargain-bin wine and use winery websites to have a taste of Oregon wine country delivered to your home — many plan to offer free or discounted shipping and marked-down bottles, including 10% off at Salem’s Left Coast Wines, 20% off at Ponzi Vineyards and free in-state shipping at Forest Grove’s Montinore Estate. The Oregonian also has a great list of wineries providing curbside services and home delivery statewide, as does Willamette Valley Wines.
If you want to give, consider donating directly to organizations when possible. Oregon Food Bank launched a #EmergeStronger Community Challenge in which donations will be matched by local philanthropists up to $1.1 million. The Oregon Community Foundation’s Oregon Community Recovery Fund is collecting donations for those at the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak. Meals on Wheels is looking for healthy volunteer drivers to deliver nutritious lunches to homebound seniors. The Independent Restaurant Coalition started a Save Our Restaurants advocacy campaign, while the James Beard Foundation is accepting donations for grants.
Postpone, don’t cancel
Keep those travel dreams alive. Postpone, don’t cancel your upcoming trip. Oregon guides and outfitters depend on reservation deposits to sustain their businesses — and the local economy. By maintaining these investments, you will make an important impact and have a lot to look forward to once social distancing is over. When it’s time to explore, Oregon will be ready for you.
Plan future trips
Keep those travel dreams alive. Businesses that depend on the travel industry need your support. You can start planning your next Oregon trip now with Travel Oregon’s bimonthly e-newsletters and free travel guides delivered to your mailbox. Use this website for Oregon trip inspiration — to learn about destinations, all the things to do and cool places to stay. Consider booking a tour with local guides who know this state the best. After this self-isolation, you deserve something to look forward to.
Do your research
Stay up to date on current COVID-19 information from the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Office of Emergency Management and Centers for Disease Control, as well as Travel Oregon’s travel alerts. The following sites provide additional information about the impacts of COVID-19 across the state: