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One-time grants will support restaurant and bar industry during COVID-19 spread

Much needed temporary relief is coming to local restaurants and other establishments that provide food to the public through a city of Gresham emergency assistance program.

The new grant offers one-time grants to businesses in response to the unprecedented level of hardship they face due to the state order prohibiting seated dining.

"Even under normal circumstance, small business enterprises face significant volatility — they also contribute to our vibrancy, our sense of community, and our collective identity and pride," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. "While we address the current public health crisis as a first order of concern, we also must prepare for the rebuild, and, without substantial intervention like this, our small businesses won't be here when that time comes."

The Gresham Small Business Emergency Grant program is open for online applications at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, at www.GreshamOregon.gov/Small-Business-Grants

The program provides one-time grants of $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000 per business. It will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualifying Gresham business owners with a physical storefront within city limits. A total of $400,000 is available through the program.

Business owners to receive grant approval should expect payment approximately 7-10 days after application submittal.

Criteria for the grant includes:

— Business owners who own or operate a restaurant, bar or other establishment that offers food and beverages for sale, and are restricted to carry-out and delivery-only with no onsite dining permitted

— At least 30% of the grant must go toward payment of lease rent. Grants can also be used for other capital operating expenses such as lease payments, utilities, payroll and essential supplies

— The grant must preserve at least one job

— A current city of Gresham business license is required

— Business owners of multiple Gresham businesses are limited to one grant

— Independently owned, local franchise with an existing drive-through service capability qualify — national franchises are not eligible

— Corporate or franchise restaurants with more than three existing locations do not qualify unless that business is primarily owned by a Gresham resident

— Business with current or pending OLCC infractions do not qualify

— Businesses with outstanding city-related liens or fees are not eligible to receive a grant


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