City of Madras offering $2,500 grants for businesses
At their April 14th meeting, the Madras City Council and the Madras Redevelopment Commission voted to set up an Economic Assistance Grant Program to help Madras businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 restrictions on gathering. The council appropriated $100,000 for businesses located within the Madras city limits, and the Madras Redevelopment Commission appropriated $200,000 for businesses located within the Madras Urban Renewal area. Awarded grants will be up to $2,500 per business. A task force has been established to review applications and administer the program. "The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council has been instrumental in assisting the city with developing the online application and helping the task force develop the criteria for the scoring matrix," said City Administrator Gus Burril.
To be eligible for funding, businesses must:
Have a physical presence in Madras;
Have a current city of Madras business license;
Be a for-profit business; and
Have been directly impacted by the government-mandated shutdown due to coronavirus.
Businesses without a current Madras Business License are encouraged to apply for a license now, which they can do at ci.madras.or.us, so they may apply for Round 2 funding, should it occur.
The first round of applications will be accepted electronically between Wednesday, April 29, and Friday, May 8, at midnight. An additional round of applications may be solicited later if funding remains.
Applications will be reviewed by the COVID-19 Economic Grant Task Force after May 8.
Applicants will be notified by email of the outcome, whether they are approved or declined.
If an applicant is awarded a grant, the business will be asked to complete a short form and provide their W-9 to the city of Madras before a check can be issued.
"We recognize this grant money will not solve the deep economic issues realized by many of the businesses in our community, but as a member of the task force and the director of the Madras Chamber, I am thankful to the council and the commission for their efforts to provide assistance during this difficult time," said Chamber Director Joe Krenowicz.
The grant program is one of several ways the city has tried to help businesses during the pandemic. The city pulled its proposed food and beverage tax measure from the May ballot, provided a three-month deferment on loan payments to businesses with loans through the Redevelopment Commission, and provided assistance to retail businesses that would help them develop online marketplaces. In addition, the city partnered with the Chamber and the Madras Pioneer in funding full-page advertising for businesses in the newspaper and signboards and banners advertising take-out for restaurants in town. "Collectively, our efforts have been, and will continue to be, to help our local businesses through this tough economic time," said Commissioner and Councilor Bartt Brick.
"Staff has been heavily involved in staying connected with ever-changing governmental regulations in order to ensure the council, staff and the community are receiving relevant, up-to-date information, while at the same time, keeping the day-to-day business of the city running smoothly," said Mayor Richard Ladeby.
If a business owner needs assistance completing the application, they may contact the Madras Chamber of Commerce at 541-475-2350.
For general questions regarding the application or process, call 541-475-2344.
Assistance is available in Spanish by calling Nelly Barrera at 541-475-2344.
Links to the grant application in English and Spanish are available on the city's website at www.ci.madras.or.us on the COVID-19 Resources page.
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