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City will award grants to businesses until about $60,000 of available funds have been exhausted.

In response to continued economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, city officials in Cornelius have announced a second round of emergency funding assistance for small businesses.

In July, the city provided more than $160,000 in funding for businesses impacted by closures or added expenses due to the pandemic.

The second round will make about $60,000 available through funds allocated to Washington County from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program will be administered for Cornelius by Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon.

Businesses interested in applying for grant assistance can find application forms on the city's website.

The window to apply opens at 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, and will close when all the funds have been exhausted.

Applicants can use the money for business-related expenses such as rent or mortgage, payroll, utilities, or inventory.

The amount of money businesses receive will vary based on the type of business, how many employees they have and the total number of applications the city receives, said Ryan Wells, community development director for the city. The city may award grants of up to $6,000 to eligible businesses, Wells said.

Businesses that have not previously received assistance funding will be given priority in the selection process, the city said. Additionally, restaurants and other food service businesses — regardless of whether or not they have previously received assistance — will be given priority due to impacts related to recent unhealthy air quality from wildfires, officials said.

Wells said the city recognized that food businesses have been adapting to outside, pickup and delivery service during the pandemic, but those services may have been reduced or canceled due to the smoke.

"With the disastrous wildfires that our state has recently experienced and the resulting hazardous air quality, these seating and service strategies have been hit hard," Wells said. "That's why, in this second round, we're considering this one-two punch that these businesses have experienced and feel justified in providing them with additional assistance where needed."

To be eligible, businesses must be for-profit establishments, be physically located in Cornelius, possess a current Cornelius business license and be an individually owned franchise if part of a chain.

They must also have either closed or lost at least 30% of their revenue in any month since March due to the "Stay Home, Save Lives" order by Gov. Kate Brown. Businesses must be able to show documentation of losses.

They must have not had more than 25 full-time employees at any one time in the last 12 months and been in operation since at least Sept. 1, 2019.

Passive real estate holding companies or other entities holding a passive investment in a small business but with no operational ties to that business are not eligible.

Marijuana-related businesses will also not receive grants because they are not legally recognized by the federal government.

Additionally, adult-oriented and sexully-explicit businesses and those that receive a majority of their revenue from gambling are not eligible.

Applicants cannot have had more than $3 million in gross revenue in 2019. They must also be current on all federal, state and local taxes as of Dec. 30, 2019.

Businesses must also be registered with the state or exempted from doing so.


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