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Qualifying business owners impacted by COVID-19 crisis could receive up to $3,000 grants

PMG FILE PHOTO - An ad hoc committee will process requests for the city's small business grants. The city of Sandy is now accepting applications for its Emergency Small Business Assistance Program. The webpage for the program went live at 8 a.m. this morning, April 22, on the city's website. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, April 24.

Cities around the state are working to build on resources made available by the federal government by creating small business grant programs. In a similar effort, the city of Sandy has allotted $75,000 toward a business aid program of its own.

The program was proposed to Sandy City Council by Mayor Stan Pulliam on March 23. Funds for the program include $17,000 from the general fund contingency, $8,000 from the Economic Development budget and $50,000 from urban renewal funds.

A five-person ad hoc committee helped shape the program over the past few weeks and will also help process requests from businesses. The committee includes Councilors Jan Lee and Carl Exner, Council President Jeremy Pietzold, Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Khrys Jones and Kurt McKnight, CEO of EverFresh Fruit Co. and vice chairman of the Oregon Trail School District Board of Directors.

The $75,000 fund will be broken up into $3,000 one-time grants for eligible small businesses within the city limits and currently licensed in Sandy.

"The purpose of this grant program is to supplement the myriad of federal and state assistance programs by providing $3,000 awards to eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19," the program guidelines explain. "The City of Sandy hopes that these awards will help grantees by serving as emergency operating funds while assistance from other governmental sources is being processed."

Those eligible for the program include eating and drinking establishments that are not chains; grocers or food carts; personal services like hair salons, spas, tattoo parlors, nail salons, health clubs and medical and dental offices, excluding certain professional services; indoor entertainment and childcare businesses, such as theaters, indoor kids' play gyms, day care centers and more; and general retailers like hobby shops, apparel stores and others. For a full outline list of who is and isn't eligible and the details of how to apply, visit the program webpage.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Mayor Stan Pulliam. "We're probably one of the smallest communities implementing this kind of program," Mayor Stan Pulliam has noted previously. "We're really going the extra mile to try to help our local businesses. This is a strong step forward in encouraging private investment into our community. It's no secret that Sandy faces funding challenges in regards to our infrastructure. These issues will only grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot place all of the financial burden on our neighbors, especially in a recession. Encouraging private investment in Sandy will help both diversify and strengthen our tax base."


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