Business Support

Business Support

(Updated March 3, 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.


Commercial Rent Relief to Help Small Businesses Behind on Lease Payments 

On Monday, March 8, Oregon commercial building owners can start applying for grants to help them cover outstanding lease payments from small business tenants that are behind on rent because of COVID-19. 


The grants can go up to $100,000 per each business tenant lease, but not more than $3 million for each landlord. The landlord must agree not to evict the tenant for six months and waive any rights to collect outstanding penalties or interest, or enforce eviction clauses related to the delinquent lease payments between Mar. 1, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. 


Both the business tenant and property owner will need to participate in the application process and sign the grant agreement, but the initial application needs to be completed by the landlord.  


The application period will be open for two weeks, with eligible submissions chosen by a lottery system that will also ensure geographic distribution across all regions of the state. The program is split into two rounds, the first $50 million will be allocated in the application period that is opening March 8. The remaining will be used in an additional application period that will open in late April. Unsuccessful (but eligible) applicants from the first round will automatically be considered in the second round, as will any new round two applicants. 


Learn more and apply for the Small Business Navigator: Commercial Rent Relief Program

  1. Federal CARES Act & Other financial Relief
  2. City's Business Recovery Strategies
  3. Oregon Rules and Guidance
  4. Layoffs
  5. Additional Resources

PPP Changes will Allow Smallest Businesses, Independent Contractors and Self-Employed to Receive More Financial Support

 The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Wednesday, Feb. 24 will establish a 14-day exclusive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. This will give lenders more time to work with small businesses to submit their applications, while also ensuring that larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time to apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31. 

 

SBA also has announced four changes to open the PPP to more underserved small businesses. While these changes are being implemented, SBA will work with community partners to improve the emergency relief “digital front door” and conduct extensive stakeholder outreach. With the four changes, the SBA will:


  1. Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants;
  2. Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal; 
  3. Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP; and
  4. Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

For more information: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (sba.gov)


Notice: PPP is Accepting Second Draw Loan Applications until March 31

In January, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department,  reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program now allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan with the same general loan terms as their First Draw PPP Loan. The SBA will take applications for Second Draw PPP Loans from participating lenders until March 31. Businesses can find participating lenders through Lender Match. All Second Draw PPP Loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if they previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses; has no more than 300 employees; and can demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.


Tax Relief for Small Businesses Affected by Pandemic

The Oregon Department of Revenue will eliminate penalties and interest on 2019 income tax due from Oregon businesses that are struggling to pay tax bills during COVID-19 restrictions.

 

The following tax relief will apply to personal income, corporate excise, and corporate income taxes:

  • 100% penalty waivers on 2019 income tax due from businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • 100% interest waivers on 2019 income tax due from small businesses impacted by COVID-19 that  have less than $5 million in gross receipts.
  • Continuing to provide extended payment plans of up 36 months for any taxpayer impacted.

In addition, Brown has directed the Department of Revenue to extend the due date of the amusement device tax (lottery machines) for the second quarter of tax year 2020 from Jan. 14, 2021 to April 14, 2021. This will provide additional relief for Oregon restaurants and bars experiencing economic hardship.

 

See additional information about tax relief from the Department of Revenue.

 

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.