The Portland City Council passed two emergency measures on short notice to respond to the COVID-19 crisis on Wednesday, March 25.
One transfer $3 million in unallocated general funds reserves to an "initial incident budget" that will help support the opening of the Emergency Response Center set up to coordinate responses to the pandemic.
The incident budget also includes $1 million for a Small Business Relief Fund to be administered by Prosper Portland, the former Portland Development Commission.
The fund will offer grants of $5,000 to $10,000 to small businesses that have been harmed by the response to the novel coronavirus that causes the fatal disease. Minority owned businesses will be prioritized. Application will be accepted starting on Monday, March 30.
The measure also authorizes the Portland Housing Bureau to reallocate $1 million in general fund dollars for emergency household support.
The second measure authorized a Letter of Agreement with several unions representing city employees intended to support those now working from home and protecting the health of those still reporting for work. It also increases the flexibility for leave programs.
The unions are: the District Council of Trade Unions, comprised of AFSCME Local 189, IBEW Local 48, Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District Lodge 24 Auto Mechanics, District Lodge 24 Operating Engineers, Local 701 Plumbers, Local 290 Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 5; Laborers' International Union of North America Local 483; and Professional Technical Employees, Local 17.
An accompanying financial analysis says there is no fiscal impact from the letter.
You can find the measures on the city's website at www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/26997.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.