(Updated July 7, 2021)
The City of Eugene has created a specialized Business Help Team to assist employers as they seek to keep their businesses afloat by answering questions about financing options, reopening guidelines and other topics. The team is working to be flexible to meet the needs of different businesses as rules change and needs evolve.
COVID-19 Economic Relief
The U.S. Department of Treasury's website is a portal for information about a variety of assistance programs.
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
The coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan, includes funding to support businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation authorizes the implementation of support programs:
- $15 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants, with grants of up to $10,000 per small business.
- Additional $7.25 billion in expanded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and increased eligibility to nonprofits and digital media companies.
- Over $28 billion to support restaurants and bars, with grants applied toward payroll, mortgage, utilities, food and beverage expenses, and paid sick leave. These grants will be capped at $10 million per entity or $5 million per location.
- An additional $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, and clarifies applicants can access both the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and the PPP loan.
- $39 billion in supplemental funding for child care, which will help child care providers keep their doors open and reduce costs for struggling families.
Federal PPP and EIDL Resources
The U.S. Congress and the President created the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and other legislation which released funds to provide financial relief to businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. The legislation created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are encouraged to contact financial institutions and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to learn about the programs and how to apply for the loans and grants. The SBA is still accepting new EIDL applications for loans (not forgivable). Learn more and apply online.
- The Small Business Administrate and U.S. Department of Treasury have answers to frequently asked questions (updated Oct. 7, 2020).
- The US Chamber of Commerce provides a summary of the CARES Act’s provisions.
Employee Retention Tax Credits
Businesses are eligible for an employee retention tax credit if operations were fully or partially suspended because of a COVID-19 shutdown order, or gross receipts declined by more than 50% compared to the same quarter in the prior year. Eligible businesses can get a refundable 50% tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee, or $5,000. The credit can be obtained on wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020. Businesses that receive a Paycheck Protection loan are ineligible for the tax credit.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has posted updated FAQs providing answers regarding the Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act. The Employee Retention Credit encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Eugene Water & Electric Board’s Small Business Recovery Program provides utility bill payment assistance for business and non-profit customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. EWEB’s program offers those who have accrued a past-due balance two different repayment options for bringing their accounts up to date over time.
Nonprofit Association of Oregon has collected information to help non-profits affected by COVID-19, including resources for business continuity and funding opportunities.
Lane County’s Business Information web page has information about federal and state resources. The County is the primary connection for our region to verify state and federal resources.
Eugene Business Recovery Strategies
Updates to the Streatery Program
Eugene’s Streatery program has been extended through the end of Oct. 27, 2021.
- Read more about the program and apply for a permit.
- See a map of all businesses participating in the Streatery Permit program.
Email the City’s Business Help Team if you have questions about the Streatery program.
Kesey Square “Food Hall”
As part of the City’s reopening and recovery efforts, the Downtown Ambassadors re-opened Kesey Square to offer space for the public to sit, eat lunch and order food from downtown restaurants and food carts. Tables and chairs are out from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and sanitized regularly, spaced 6-feet apart. Masks are required when physical distancing is not possible.
Parking Accommodations to Support Carry-Out Customers and Delivery Companies
City of Eugene’s Parking Services created a new service for restaurants and business owners open for carry-out and delivery orders. Businesses can request the designation of 1-2 parking spots in front of their location to provide a dedicated free parking spot for carry-out customers and/or delivery companies. This service is free for the business and free for the customers. To request this new service please email firstname.lastname@example.org. See a map of the businesses that are using this service.