Masks and protective gear are part of the job as laborers in essential fields continue working. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

There’s a lot going on business. To help keep you up to speed, the Salem Reporter has launched a semi-regular roundup of business-related items that includes new business openings, locations, grant opportunities and others. 

To suggest an item, reach out to reporter Jake Thomas at [email protected]

NEW COVID REGS. On Monday, Nov. 16, new Covid regulations from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration kicked in. The new rules build on existing regulations and now require employers to notify employees of workplace infections. Employers are also required to formally assess the risk of exposure and indoor air quality while developing infection control plans.

The agency said it would provide educational resources for employers and employees regarding the 105-page rule, which is expected to remain in effect until May 4, 2021.

FOR SALE: BIG EMPTY BUIDLING. For $4.7 million, you can now own 102,500 square feet of Salem history. Last week, SVN Commercial Advisors, LLC announced on Twitter that the building for JCPenney’s Salem location is for sale. Following its bankruptcy, the department store began closing its storefronts, including the Salem location in the Salem Center mall, at 305 Liberty St N.E. The building’s new occupant is unclear after the pandemic pushed shoppers online. The city of Salem has indicated it’s trying to find a new owner of the store. Among the sweeteners for a potential buyer include the building being located in an urban renewal area and opportunity zone.  

REBUILDING UNDERWAY. The Strategic Economic Development Corporation will hold a noon webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 18, providing an update on efforts to rebuild the Santiam Canyon after September’s historic wildfires. Following the devastating blazes, community members put together the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund, which has raised $2 million to help the rebuilding effort. Another group of over 90 builders, contractors, developers and others formed the Santiam Rebuild Coalition.

The event will feature Rich Duncan, president of Rich Duncan Construction; Marion County Public Works Director Brian Nicolas and Deana Freres of the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund.

To find out more and register, visit SEDCOR’s Zoom page.

STIMULUS STILL AVAILABLE. Remember those $1,200 checks sent out by the federal government to boost the economy in response to the pandemic-induced downturn? Thousands of Oregonians still haven’t applied to receive them. The deadline to apply for the funds is Saturday, Nov. 21. More information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

BILINGUAL TRAINING. Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration is offering free training to help English-speaking employers get Spanish-speaking workers up to speed on workplace safety and health requirements. The “Residential Construction Building Safety” course covers six phases of the residential construction process and uses images accompanied with Spanish and English text. The training can be completed at the job site in about an hour.

The training is part of the agency’s PESO program (“Programa en Español de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo” or “Safety and Hygiene at Work Program in Spanish.”)

  Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.

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