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Second round of applications for small businesses opens 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 31

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - More financial support is coming to Gresham small businesses.The city of Gresham is launching the second phase of an emergency assistance program that will offer temporary financial relief to more businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the statewide stay-at-home order.

The expanded emergency grant program includes all qualifying businesses — removing the first round's designation of only going to the food industry.

"We are doing everything we can possibly do at the local level to address this global crisis," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. "We will get to the other side of this crisis, but if we want our vibrancy and community vitality to get there with us, these small business grants are critically important."

The Gresham Small Business Emergency Grant Phase II program will open for online application at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, at https://greshamoregon.gov/Small-Business-Grants/

The program provides one-time grants of $1,000 per employee to a maximum of $10,000 per business. A total of $400,000 is available. Business owner approved for a grant will receive payment approximately 7-10 days after application submittal.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

- Businesses that have been ordered closed in accordance with Gov. Kate Brown's executive order-n Significant impact of the novel coronavirus on business finances

- How the grant will be utilized

- Number of years operating within Gresham

- Women, minority or veteran-owned businesses within Gresham

In order for a business to qualify for the grant, they most also meet the following criteria:

n With the exception of approved independent contractors, 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

- Businesses must be in compliance with the Governor's executive orders

- A current city of Gresham business license is required

- A physical "brick and mortar" presence in Gresham is required; independent contractors operating within a physical Gresham location may also be eligible. Licensed food cart owners may also qualify

- Business owners of multiple Gresham businesses are limited to one grant. Business owners that have been or will be approved for funding during the previous round are not eligible

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

- Businesses with current or pending OLCC infractions do not qualify

- Businesses that exclude minors do not qualify, unless the exclusion is only limited to a portion of the day

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

The first phase of the city's emergency assistance program focused on local restaurants due to the state order prohibiting seated dining. That grant closed as of March 25. More than 80 applications were received, with some payments already being sent out.


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