Business Support

(Updated May 25, 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.

  1. financial Assistance
  2. City's Business Recovery Strategies
  3. Additional Resources
  4. Layoffs

Grant Fund Launches to Help Oregon Small Businesses Cover Costs

Beginning May 26, Business Oregon will open the final portion of a program to provide grants for small businesses to help with commercial rent and operational costs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Oregon Legislative Emergency Board allocated approximately $100 million for the program to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic and the restrictions it necessitated. Following two rounds of distribution of Commercial Rent Relief assistance grants, approximately $28 million remains to be distributed in this final round through the Operational Cost Assistance Grant.


The Operational Cost Assistance Grant is designed for businesses with 100 or fewer employees in industries that were particularly affected by the pandemic, including those that: 


  1. offer the consumption of food and or drink on premise;
  2. provide specified indoor physical exercise, recreational or family entertainment; OR 
  3. provide specified personal services.

Businesses that received assistance grants through the state of Oregon Commercial Rent Relief Program for the same location are eligible to receive the grant, as long as the award amount through the Commercial Rent Relief Program was less than $100,000.


Applications for the Operational Cost Assistance Grant will be accepted beginning May 26 and awards will be selected after a random lottery process of all complete and eligible applications received. See the Business Oregon website to learn more about the program and find the application link that will be posted beginning May 26. 

 

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Applications Open

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund opened on May 3 and will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.


In preparation, the SBA recommends qualifying applicants:


  1. Review the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample.
  2. Prepare the required documentation.
  3. Work with a point-of-sale vendor or submit an application.

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

See more information in English and Spanish.


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.

 

Additional Information


PPP Loans, EIDL Advances, SBA Loan Subsidies Not Subject to Oregon’s Corporate Activity Tax (CAT)

The Oregon Department of Revenue has determined that certain federal assistance to businesses under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not ‘commercial activity’ under Oregon statute and will not be subject to the Corporate Activity Tax. The exempt assistance includes forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) emergency advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan subsidies. Read the news release for more details.

 

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.


Energy Assistance

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. 


Non-Profit Support

The Oregon Community Foundation has established the Oregon Community Recovery Grant program to support nonprofits affected by COVID-19. They plan to launch a new statewide application in winter 2021, check their website for details. 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.