Relief funds available for small businesses
The State of Oregon has awarded COVID-19 relief funds to Crook County, and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council together with Crook County, are offering another round of grants to Central Oregon small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
The application period opened Dec. 9 and will close at midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 16. To apply, visit https://www.coic.org/grant. Crook County will have more than $675,000 in grants available from the State of Oregon as part of their CARES relief funding allocation. Eligible applicants can receive grants from up to $10,000 each. Exceptions may be made for higher awards.
Crook County Judge Seth Crawford commented that businesses need to be able to demonstrate that they have been impacted by COVID-19 and lost business as a direct result.
"We are doing everything we can to get that money to those businesses that have been hard hit by state shutdowns and COVID-19," Crawford emphasized.
Businesses or nonprofits that received grants in previous rounds are eligible to apply again. Eligibility requirements have also been expanded to allow for more applicants to qualify for funding compared to previous grant rounds. Businesses should apply if they are located and do the majority of their business in Crook County.
Unlike some previous rounds, these grants will not be first come, first served. The application period will remain open during the scheduled time and all eligible grant applications will be considered for funding.
Eligible applicants must have 100 or fewer employees, be located in Crook County, and be current on all federal, state and local taxes. Sole proprietors are eligible and encouraged to apply. Nonprofit organizations must have federal 501c3 status to be eligible.
Small business owner Rick Steber commented in a previous interview that the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely tough on all businesses—but especially small, local businesses.
"Somehow business has to get back to the business of business," emphasized Steber. "We need to have customers come in—that's what it's all about. … It's vitally important that if we are going to have a local economy that we support our local economy."
COIC is administering the delivery of this program in partnership with the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-lab and a broad network of local and regional partners, including Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, local cities, the Warm Springs Community Action Team, Central Oregon Small Business Development Center, Economic Development for Central Oregon, the Latino Community Association, NeighborImpact, Opportunity Knocks, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, and the Warm Springs Community Action Team, as well as chamber of commerce offices in La Pine, Sunriver, Bend, Sisters, Redmond and Jefferson counties.
"The things that are not in our control, like state rules on how the money is spent—that is what COIC is going to do—they are going to go through them and send us all the applications that meet the criteria," said Crawford of COIC's role in administering the delivery of the program, in partnership with many other organizations and nonprofits.
The program is funded by CARES Act legislation and administered through the State of Oregon to Crook County.
A complete overview of program guidelines and eligibility requirements is available at https://www.coic.org/grant
The application period opened Dec. 9, and will close at midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.