More relief on the way for small businesses
Food service and tourist establishments impacted by COVID -19 are encouraged to apply for a new grant program through Washington County, funded by coronavirus relief funds.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved use of coronavirus relief funds to provide financial operational support to food and tourist establishments directly impacted by the COVID-19 public health measures placed to prevent the spread of illness. Fund disbursement for each eligible food or tourist establishment is the same amount paid for the 2020 food service license, ranging from $500 to $4,900. It does not reverse 2020 license fees, and 2021 license fees will still apply.
Coronavirus relief funds disbursed to food and tourist establishment owners can be used at their discretion toward any operational expenses. The distribution of those funds is an additional step designed to help stabilize the local economy and preserve jobs.
To qualify for aid, food or tourist establishments must meet at least one of the following requirements:
• Full service restaurant
• Limited service restaurant
• Mobile unit class
• Hotels and motels
• Recreational park
• Organizational camp
And the current food or tourist establishment owner must hold a valid 2020 Washington County license issued by the Environmental Health Program.
The grants are part of a continued effort on the part of the County and local cities to better help small businesses cope with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, using funding from the federal government's CARES Act.
"These grants are for small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic," Forest Grove economic development manager Jeff King said this past summer after the initial round of grants. "The goal is to assist small businesses because we know that they have been struggling."
In April and May, the Forest Grove city government awarded approximately $133,000 in grants to small businesses who were required to close or curtail operations as a result of COVID-19 related executive orders. Those grants were initially funded by City revenues, but then paid back by federal CARES Act funds. Since, more than $200,000 more has been awarded to local area businesses, along with additional support such as supplies, including masks and gloves, and free market research from Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), a regional nonprofit that specializes in a range of small business services, to offer their MarketLink services.
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.