A Letter to Our Customers

Mar 18, 2020

To our loyal customers,

When I think of Stumptown, I think of all the neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants we have partnered with over the years to build a thriving culinary community. We are, and will continue to be, open for business with the daily operations needed to support our customers.

Our priorities have been and continue to be to follow the available guidance on how to operate in the safest manner possible. By doing so, we can continue to provide paychecks and medical insurance to our employees, who remain committed to continuing to work to support our customers during this difficult time. As a member of the broader food and beverage community, we are painfully aware of the scale and impact this has already caused to businesses and their employees in all of our communities.

These independent businesses that mean so much to all of us are severely impacted by what is going on in our world today with COVID-19. And we, as consumers, need to put pressure on our local, state and federal governments to support independent business owners and all of the millions of people that they employ in this country.

This community now finds themselves having to make moral and civic decisions without the governmental leadership so desperately needed in times of crisis. We understand that devoting resources to healthcare has been our government’s priority, however, without immediate assistance, our industry, culinary community and workforce will be irreparably damaged.

We ask that you join us. We are making this request knowing that we are not only working to protect the livelihoods of our employees and co-workers, but also our partners throughout the supply chain. Call your reps -- state and federal -- and let them know that the culinary industry needs their immediate assistance in order to stay intact. Share this information with your friends and family, and ask them to do the same. This is a sink or swim moment for almost everyone in this industry, and we won’t get through it without government intervention.

These urgent requests to which our government must act now are:

Immediate support for affected workers to safeguard against devastating financial impacts caused by the crisis

  • No waiting for unemployment benefits; waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive benefits as soon as possible.
  • Enhanced eligibility for unemployment to protect employees impacted by the crisis. Workers should receive unemployment benefits if their hours are reduced or they are temporarily or permanently laid off due to business slowdowns related to COVID-19.
  • Provide unemployment benefits to workers directly impacted by the virus due to a confirmed diagnosis or to workers placed on an employer- or physician-mandated quarantine related to the virus.

Support for Impacted Employers so they can continue to provide jobs and contribute to our community and economy

  • Relieve employers from increased unemployment insurance claim liabilities, temporarily suspend payroll tax contributions and provide an extension to file payroll reports and any owed payroll taxes.
  • Legislative action to close the Virus Exclusion in Business Interruption Insurance. A bill is needed to force Business Interruption insurers to provide coverage for this crisis with an effective date of March 16, 2020.
  • Provide commercial rent relief mandate and temporarily suspend commercial evictions.
  • Defer city and state business taxes for small businesses with no interest or penalties and temporarily waive state and city business licensing fees.

We ask that you take action now. Our industries and our country have overcome adversity before; armed with the right tools, we can do it again.


Sean Sullivan President/CEO Stumptown Coffee Roasters