The State of Oregon has received a Deschutes County plan for reopening of the regional economy and entering Phase One. As we head towards that date, perhaps as soon as Friday, May 15, pending State approval, the City of Sisters is brainstorming ways to continue to support our business community through these tough times.

City Council members made phone calls to dozens of retail, restaurant, and personal service businesses to hear how they were holding up and gather information on how the City could help. The resolve and resiliency of our local businesses is inspiring. We know reopening is critical to keeping businesses alive, people employed, and the vibrancy of Sisters. The City cares about all of our local businesses.

It will truly be a test of our balance to maintain public health and prosperity for the foreseeable future. The key ways of preventing COVID-19 are simple – yet easier said than done. Some of the guidelines from the State will be challenging for businesses to implement and cut into revenues.

The City is identifying and exploring ways that we can support local businesses achieve this balance. We must do that for residents and visitors alike. Summer is right around the corner and we hope to have several options rolled out come June. Many of these options will be an experiment as we are in uncharted waters. If you have ideas, please contact us and share so we can explore if they are feasible and can be implemented.

Many updates and topics related to COVID-19 are scheduled for Council discussion on the May 13 meeting. The agenda and packet information can be found at www.ci.sisters.or.us under “Upcoming Events.”

As always, we encourage you to review the materials, participate in the meetings, and share your comments.

Thank you for your continued patience and perseverance through these trying times.