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Over the Edge Taphouse gives grant back so others can benefit. Money is for biz affected by COVID-19.

The Jefferson County Business Task Force has awarded a total of $35,000 in grants to 15 small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant recipients include small businesses in Culver, Metolius, Crooked River Ranch, Warm Springs, and Camp Sherman, as well as unincorporated portions of Madras.

The awardees represent a wide variety of different industries, including restaurant, retail, agriculture, construction, and personal and professional services. Both sole proprietorships and larger, incorporated businesses were awarded. Although preference was given to businesses with a long history of operation in Jefferson County, some recipients are also new businesses in operation for less than two years that fill an in-demand need in their community, according to a press release from Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council. All awarded businesses have fewer than 20 employees.

Unfortunately, the Task Force received requests far in excess of available funds and was unable to award all applicants, the press release said. As a result, it is currently pursuing opportunities for additional funds and may reopen the application for a second round at a later date. One recipient, Over The Edge Taphouse in Crooked River Ranch, declined its grant award after learning that not all recipients were able to be funded.

"Our community thrives when we are running on all cylinders.  We hope by passing this grant onto another business, we can do our part to get things back up and running," said owner Lynnelle Morgan.

"The Task Force hopes the grants will help stabilize key businesses throughout the county, and help ease the challenge of reopening as we look toward the future," the press release said.

"The county commissioners were very excited to have COIC's assistance in putting together a grant program for those business outside of the city of Madras," said Board of Commissioners President Kelly Simmelink. "We hope these small grants are able to assist business across our county bridge very difficult economic times."

Funding for the program was provided by the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners and The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, via a grant from Oregon Community Foundation's Small Business Stabilization Fund. The Task Force includes Simmelink, Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Director Joe Krenowicz, County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen and COIC Program Administrator Janel Ruehl.


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