The patio view from iWINGZ, a new restaurant that opened in Salem. (Courtesy/iWINGZ)

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

To suggest an item, reach out to reporter Jake Thomas at jake@salemreporter.com

NEW RESTAURANT. iWINGZ, a new restaurant that serves build-your-own mac and cheese, sandwiches, 20-plus sauces, chicken tenders and wings has opened up at 2445 25th St. S.E. across from the Salem airport. 

It’ll include an outdoor seating area, banquet room and arcade/gaming area.  Founder Paul Lien Xin said in a press release that he wants to use his new eatery to sponsor youth sports activities and teams, as well as fundraising. iWINGZ will feature mixed drinks and local beers on tap. Eventually, vegan options will be added. 

FOOD HALL REOPENING. Fork Forty Food Hall, Salem’s first food hall located at 440 State Street, has reopened after a Covid scare. On July 23, Fork Forty posted on its Facebook page that it was closing after an employee said they weren’t feeling well and decided to get tested for the virus. 

“We are pleased to announce that no employees at Fork Forty Food Hall have tested positive for COVID. We need a day to regroup, re-stock and re-staff and we will be back open for normal business hours ‪on Wednesday the 29th,” Fork Forty wrote on its Facebook page. ‬

The Food Hall opened in June that offers food from seven food vendors including Thai food, ice cream, waffle sandwiches and more. 

CLOSING THE RANCH. Ranch Records, located at 237 High St N.E., will open for the last time on Saturday, Aug. 1 after serving Salem for nearly 40 decades. Kit and Lori Close, the store’s operators, had planned to keep it open until 2022. But the Covid pandemic hastened those plans. It’ll be open from noon to 5 p.m.

Jim Vu, of the Salem Main Street Association, said that The Kitchen on Court Street, located at 466 Court St N.E., will be having a closing party for the iconic Salem record store. 

Vu said that the restaurant is located in the building that Ranch Records previously occupied. To celebrate, Vu (who is now the owner of the building) said The Kitchen on Court Street will be spinning records and serving “Ranch Records Margaritas.” 

BUSINESS GRANTS. Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, has announced $5.5 million in new grant funding that’s intended to make its way to small businesses. 

The funds come from the Emergency Business Assistance Grant Fund and were created by Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Legislature to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. There have been three rounds of grant dispersals so far. 

The most recent round went to cities, counties, and economic development districts that’ll direct the funds to small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The city of Salem received $238,000. So far, the city hasn’t announced plans to distribute the funds. 

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Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or jake@salemreporter.com or @jakethomas2009.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified a food served at Fork Forty Food Hall.