More than 100 businesses have applied for grants for emergency assistance offered by the City of Beaverton and the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce to restaurant and bars affected by Gov. Kate Brown's order to shut down in-premises service.
The grants are limited to $2,500 per business and the city has made available a total of $250,000. A qualifying business must have fewer than 50 employees.
Chamber President Lorraine Clarno said Friday, March 20, that 108 businesses have applied, so the fund would be exhausted if every business got the maximum grant.
But Clarno said some of those businesses will not qualify either because they are not directly affected by the governor's order — which is intended to limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus linked to respiratory disease — or they are outside Beaverton's city limits and do not pay city business license fees.
Businesses also do not qualify for the city grants if they are part of national chains.
The grants are intended to help businesses meet commercial rent or mortgage payments during the virus emergency.
"We have to act fast and do all we can to respond to rapidly changing conditions," Mayor Denny Doyle said Thursday in announcing the program. "I'm confident this program will support our business community, and lend support to establishments, employees and those in need."
In a survey conducted by the city and chamber — more than 200 businesses participated — aid for commercial lease and mortgage payments was one of the top concerns. Lack of revenues was mentioned by 75% to 80% of the survey participants.
"We are so grateful to Mayor Doyle and his economic development team for this partnership to establish a localized emergency business fund," Clarno said. "This fund will be invaluable to Beaverton businesses that have already suffered severe economic impacts."
The aid precedes potential action by state and federal governments to aid small businesses affected by the closures. Â
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