You could sense the collective gasp across Malheur County last week. The new state restrictions meant to save lives are likely to squeeze more of the economic life out of the county. There appears to be only one way out.
Gov. Kate Brown moved to close down parts of Oregon for at least the next two weeks. She’s banning dining. She’s closing gyms. She’s ready to call the cops if people gather for parties that violate state rules.
Anger emerged quickly. Business organizations, from the Oregon Farm Bureau to the Oregon Bankers Association, pleaded with Brown not to shut down business. Small business owners in Malheur County and across Oregon are asking themselves: Can we hang on? More layoffs surely are coming in Malheur County as operations shed costs to keep some pulse of business life going.
Brown . . .