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Application process to distribute 33 additional $3,000 grants starts at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Last time the city provided small business grants, Mt. Hood Eye Care was a recipient. Then when the optometry practice received their long-awaited PPP loan, they resent the grant so it could be given to another business in need. Earlier this year, the city of Sandy received $349,342.11 in coronavirus relief funds through the CARES Act, passed by Congress in March. With those funds set to expire on Dec. 30, the Sandy City Council has decided to spend $99,000 of the remaining funds on a second round of emergency small business assistance grants.

While some funds will be held back to cover the next few months' need for PPE and other city operational costs, 33 payments of $3,000 are to be made to Sandy businesses who are in need and are eligible for the grant funding.

"Many of our most cherished local Sandy businesses are barely hanging on," said Mayor Stan Pulliam. "Times like these we must come together as a community to lift each other. This is the city doing our part to help in any way we can."

The application process begins at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, and is meant to help keep businesses afloat during the COVID-19 crisis and current temporary shutdowns.

The city dealt out grants like this in April, and while many of the same qualifications still apply, this second round is different in that it will give preference to businesses that didn't receive funds the first time. It will also give preference to businesses of 25 employees or less.

Otherwise, to qualify you must fall into the following categories:

• "Eating and drinking establishments: Any business that serves food or beverages — this includes restaurants, coffee shops, taverns, bars, breweries and wineries. This category excludes grocers, chain restaurants and food carts."

• "Personal services: This category includes hair salons and barber shops, medical and dental offices, non-medical wellness spas, masseuses, tattoo parlors, nail salons, gyms and health clubs. It excludes mental health and professional services. (i.e. tax accountants, financial services, real estate professionals, architects, engineers, lawyers, etc.)."

• "Indoor entertainment and childcare businesses: This category includes cinemas, theaters, indoor kids' play gyms, pre-schools and day care centers."

• "General retail: This category includes all small retail shops —hobby shops, apparel stores, archery and firearms stores, hardware stores, lawn maintenance equipment retailers, cellular phone providers, etc."

To be eligible, a business must also physically exist within city limits and have a current city of Sandy business license. Their brick-and-mortar establishment must also have a commercial or light industrial zoning designation. Businesses that have past due business licenses or past due transit tax fee payments are not eligible for this program, according to the guidelines, and nonprofit organizations are also excluded.

The application period closes at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. A committee of city councilors and Economic Development Committee members will determine which of the applicants receive grant funding.

More information about the program and applicant qualifications can be found online.

Applications are available online.


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