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, including in the Tualatin Valley, Oregon City, The Dalles, McMinnville and Lane County. A new website, PDX 2 Go, lists 128 businesses offering takeout and delivery in the Portland Region and beyond. 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. (Why not?)
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.
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 campaign to raise money for relief grants.
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: