MEDFORD, Ore. — The smoke has finally cleared and that means back to business.
“Right now we have very low levels of smoke, and that’s been very encouraging, and great for our trips right now,” Travis Hamlyn with Hellgate Jetboat Excursions said.
“We have airplanes moving and it feels like we’re in business again,” David Traeger with Pacific Aviation commented.
But for two weeks, the smoke was a veil for Southern Oregon, and hurting small businesses that rely on good summer weather.
“Well, with our business being flying, any time there’s smoke, you can’t see, you can’t fly,” Traeger added. “It pretty much shut us down for that two week period, and it made a pretty severe impact to us.”
“Over time, as we started calling people and letting them know there was smoke, we saw a significant impact from that,” Hamlyn explained.
But the Governor’s Office wants to see if there’s help. Local companies are being asked to fill out a survey on how much of a financial impact the smoke and fires have had. Based on the results, the state could declare a Small Business Administration Economic Disaster.
If that happens, it would allow the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to give low interest loans to businesses struggling through the wildfire season, like Hellgate Jetboat Tours.
“Business for us has been down about a third, which is pretty critical during this time of the year,” Hamlyn added. “July and August we look for our main revenue stream and that has to support us in the offseason.”
They’re filling out the survey, because there’s no way to make up for that loss of revenue while hoping the smoke doesn’t come back.
“Seeing if there’s any relief there for companies like ours,” Hamlyn said. “It is very hard to make forecasts and predictions on how that smoke’s going to be when people arrive.”
The survey needs to be completed and returned by August 21st. It can be sent to Wayne Stinson through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the address found below.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
1036 SE Douglas Ave
Roseburg OR 97470