Rep. David Brock Smith unveils COVID Business Equity Act

By Representative David Brock Smith

Former Restauranteur Introduces Covid Business Equity Act

Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) introduced legislation that will bring equity across the business sector during the remainder of the state of emergency related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For nearly a year of a rollercoaster of business closures, tens of thousands of Oregonians have been unemployed from the hospitality sector across our state,” said Representative David Brock Smith. “Many of these entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector are being forced to close their doors forever. These business owners, their hardworking employees and their families have faced extreme hardships with devastating delays in business relief, unemployment insurance payments, with little to no income and no relief in sight. Many of these restaurants and hospitality industry businesses will close their doors forever, taking these jobs with them. Further, the majority of these impacted Oregonians are the most vulnerable working families across our state.”

According to the Oregon Employment Department, Oregonians employed within the hospitality industry are the most racially diverse and the second most ethnically diverse in Oregon.

“We are not only losing our hospitality businesses across the state and the jobs associated with them forever, we are losing our unique, locally family owned, independent small eateries. These businesses do not have the ability to weather the income deficits from closures, unlike their corporate chain competitors,” said Rep. Brock Smith.

“There must be equity across the all business sectors regarding Covid-19 mandates and closures. The hospitality industry takes great measures assuring safety and provides an extremely sanitary environment for dining. Big box stores and other essential open businesses are less sanitary and require far more individual self-regulation than conditions within eateries,” said Rep. Brock Smith

“Us legislators have been telling our constituents that while not in session, we have no authority to intervene on the Governor’s Executive Orders related to the Covid-19 emergency, subsequent mandates and their closures. We have now begun the ’21 Legislative Session and it is past time for the legislative branch to assert our responsibility; and I would argue the obligation, in guiding policy and lead in this work for the residents that put us here to do so,” said Rep. Brock Smith.

“I encourage you to share this information with everyone that has been impacted by the closures of our hospitality industry businesses. Please see the link immediately below for a website that will help you Find Your Legislator. Once there, you will be able to enter your information and your State Representative and State Senator will appear with links for you to email their office.

Please use this tool to reach out to your legislator and tell them that: ‘I support HB 3177, the Covid Business Equity Act! Please support the diverse working families of the hospitality industry, the small business owners across the state and provide the needed business equity that is severely lacking and pass HB 3177.’

I would suggest that if you have a personal story, that you include that in your email to your legislator. We want to here from you and need your help to support you!”