Clackamas County announced this week it will begin accepting applications Monday, June 29, for grants to help local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant program is providing financial support to businesses with fewer than 25 employees adversely affected by the current economic conditions.
"Clackamas County is focused on supporting businesses across the county, especially those with owners who are historically disadvantaged, sole proprietors and in low-income, unincorporated areas," said Laura Zentner, director the county's business and community services division.
Provided in cooperation with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), the program is allotted a total of $420,000 in grants, with individual grants starting at $2,500.
Online applications will be accepted from 8 a.m., Monday through 5 p.m., Friday, July 3. All completed applications received by the deadline will be considered.
To be eligible to apply, a business must have been adversely affected economically in one of the following two categories:
— For-profit businesses and nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporations that were prohibited from operation as directed by Gov. Kate Brown's executive order.
— For-profit businesses that can demonstrate a one-month decline in revenue greater than 50% in the month of March 2020 or April 2020 as compared with sales in the month of January 2020 or February 2020.
— 501(c)(3) nonprofits that can demonstrate a decline in revenue greater than 50% across the months of March 2020 and April 2020 as compared with the same period of time in 2019.
They also must have been unable to access federal Coronavirus Aid and Relief Economic Security (CARES) Act funds including:
— The Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
— The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance program (EIDL).
— Other federal programs for emergency pandemic funding.
Businesses must serve Clackamas County residents, have employed less than 25 employees on Feb. 29, 2020; and, if part of a chain, must be an individually-owned franchise.
Businesses that receive a grant from the county will be allowed to use the funds to cover operating expenses such as payroll and benefits, rent or mortgage payments, and utility bills.
Clackamas County is encouraging applications from minority-owned, woman-owned and veteran-owned businesses, as well as sole proprietorships.
Together with MESO and the grant review committee, will work to ensure equitable distribution amongst all small business types.
"Clackamas County is committed to ensuring fair, equitable and careful distribution of grant awards to local businesses," Thursday's press release said.
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.