One day before rents come due for thousands of restaurants, bars and other small businesses impacted by Gov. Kate Brown's order banning on-premises dining across the state, owners have been left to negotiate with landlords on their own.
Just a little over two weeks ago, the Oregon restaurant industry employed an estimated 155,000 people. Now, with rents due April 1, and the risk of evictions looming as soon as five days later, groups representing those restaurants both large and small are asking for various forms of financial relief and a stay on the risk of those evictions.
"It's crazy that our fine city has not put a moratorium on commercial evictions."
Chef Naomi Pomeroy, the owner of fixed-price restaurant Beast and co-owner of louche cocktail bar Expatriate, has personally left messages with Portland leaders, wrote a Washington Post op-ed and advocated for help through her association with the Portland Independent Restaurant Alliance, a new group formed to support local small businesses and service industry workers affected by COVID-19.
"It's crazy that our fine city has not put a moratorium on commercial evictions," Pomeroy said Monday. "Ted Wheeler, the county, somebody needs to come up with a plan about this yesterday, because the people who don't have friendly relationships with their landlords could be in a lot of trouble."
This Oregonian/OregonLive story is shared as part of a local media project to increase COVID-19 news coverage.
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