As the economic impacts of the pandemic continue, the Oregon legislature and Governor Kate Brown approved $20 million more to Business Oregon’s Emergency Business Assistance Grant Fund.
This grant fund has already put approximately $25 million out into the community through four rounds of funding. The first four rounds were allocated from Business Oregon to intermediary lenders such as cities, counties, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Economic Development Districts (EDDs), who in turn granted the money to individual businesses. With this new round, Business Oregon is able to fund businesses directly. The grants are available to small businesses that have seen lost revenue due to the pandemic, and that meet a minimal set of requirements.
This round makes some changes to previous rounds of grant funding under the program, so that businesses not eligible in earlier rounds can now access grant funding. Businesses with up to 100 employees can apply, whereas previous funding was limited to those with up to 25 employees, to ensure the smallest business could access the funds first.
Most previous rounds also targeted businesses that did not already receive assistance through the CARES Act (such as PPP, EIDL, City of Portland Small Relief Program, the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief + Resiliency and other programs funded with CARES Act funds). This round will now consider applications from businesses with one to 25 employees that HAVE already received anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million in funding from these federal resources. Businesses with 26 to 100 employees are eligible regardless of the amount of federal resources they received (up to $1,000,000), if they meet other program requirements.
Businesses are eligible to receive up to $200,000 in grant funding as detailed in the grant application. To be eligible, a business must show it was prohibited from operations by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12, or demonstrate a 25 percent reduction in sales over a 30-day period in 2020 compared to a comparable period in 2019.
The application form and additional details can be found on Business Oregon’s website in multiple languages. Grants will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis, and will be allocated so that there is an equitable geographic distribution of funds as directed by the Oregon Legislature.
The application portal will close once $25 million in applications are received. Business Oregon will reopen the portal if any funds remain after reviewing those initial applications for eligibility.
Additional resources and information on COVID-19 response can be found on the department’s website.