As the economic impacts of the pandemic continue, the Oregon legislature and Governor Kate Brown have allocated millions more in grant funding for Business Oregon to deliver into the hands of small businesses across Oregon. On Monday, November 9th, the Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature approved $20 million more to Business Oregon’s Emergency Business Assistance Grant Fund. This funding and program are separate from the $55 million in funds the Governor also announced this week.
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, including Community LendingWorks, a Community Development Financial Institutions(CDFI), 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 more businesses can access the funds. Businesses with up to 100 employees can apply, whereas previous funding was limited to those with up to 25 employees, to ensure smaller businesses could access the funds first.
Most previous rounds also targeted businesses that did not already receive assistance through the federal CARES Act (such as PPP, EIDL, 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 1 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% reduction in sales over a 30-day period in 2020 compared to a comparable period in 2019.
How to Apply
On Thursday, November 19, the application form and additional details will be found on Business Oregon’s website. If the application is not yet posted in the morning, a time estimate will be provided on the web page. 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 dictated by the Oregon Legislature.
The application portal will close once applications totaling $25 million in requested grants 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 Business Oregon website. The Governor's COVID-19 web page has the latest guidance on health and safety protocols.
About Business Oregon
Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at Business Oregon.