Tualatin has taken steps to help hurting local businesses by providing $250,000 in initial grant funding to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.
On Monday, the Tualatin City Council, acting in its capacity as the Tualatin Development Commission, approved launching the Tualatin Economic Stabilization Fund, using money that comes from non-tax increment finance funds from the city's urban renewal program. Eligible businesses could receive up to $10,000.
Many businesses have been shuttered or forced to scale back their operations, either because Gov. Kate Brown has ordered them to do so or their customers have plunged due to concerns over COVID-19, the potentially serious illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
"The economic result of COVID-19 has severely impacted the local economy of Tualatin," Jonathan Taylor, the city's economic development manager, wrote in a staff report. "Nearly 20% of Tualatin's current workforce is employed in the retail and hospitality sector."
Taylor said that amounts to annual payrolls of $145 million. Just as of March 20, an estimated 145 businesses "have reduced, altered or ceased operations and 2,807 employees have had their hours altered, reduced or were laid off or furloughed," Taylor wrote.
To be eligible for money from the fund, businesses must have 55 full-time employees or fewer and a physical store within Tualatin city limits.
In addition, businesses must be able to prove a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and have a current business license issued by the city.
For those that qualify, up to $10,000 per business is available.
Mayor Frank Bubenik has said the city needs to act quickly on the matter to help those who "have given so much to our community," said Taylor.
"This is a very proactive and innovative opportunity to help local businesses move through this difficult period," said Linda Moholt, chief executive officer of the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce. "The city hopes to have a review process and decision quickly, with checks out within 3 to 4 weeks. We appreciate the work that Jonathan Taylor and staff put into this program and applaud the City Council's bold vote to make it happen."
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