City of Newberg dedicates $100K to help small businesses
Businesses around the world have faced a landslide of bad news during the past several months, often seeing a complete loss of income as well as the prospect of laying off valued employees and possibly shutting their doors for good in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there is some good news on the economic front — at least in Newberg. The city announced last week that it had dedicated $100,000 from the general fund to create the Business Emergency Relief Grant (BERG) program to help businesses deal with the health emergency. To that end, the city is offering grants of up to $2,500 to cover rent and mortgage costs for small businesses.
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community," Mayor Rick Rogers said in a press release. "The Business Emergency Relief Grant program is a means to help support local business as (they) face extremely challenging times."
Rogers added that the parameters of the program were developed in collaboration with the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Newberg Downtown Coalition (NDC) and the state's Strategic Development Corp. (SEDCOR).
"The program is but one example of the power of collaboration in our community," Rogers said. "We wish our businesses and all of our residents quick and lasting relief from the pain brought by COVID-19."
To be eligible for the grant, businesses must be located within the city limits, employ 15 people or less, have a current city business license, have operated for more than a year, and are locally owned and not part of a franchise. The grant, the release said, will be awarded to those eligible businesses, with a portion of the funds set aside specifically for minority- and women-owned businesses.
The BERG program was launched Tuesday, April 7, after the city worked with the Chamber of Commerce, the NDC and Unidos Bridging Communities "to try and ensure a wide reach before the launch," the release said, adding "the city wants qualifying businesses to have equal opportunity to apply and receive funds."
Also, the city is following a model recently created in Dayton. Dubbed the "Newberg Support Local Challenge," the city will give residents a $15 credit on their utility bill for each $25 they spend at local restaurants or businesses.
Visit the city's website at Newbergoregon.gov/SLC for more information.
Finally, the city has also launched a website at newbergoregon.gov/citymanager/page/covid-19-resources-businesses-and-employees that is packed with resources for businesses. The website includes information about local, state and national resources that businesses and employees can access, as well as applications for loans, grants and federal funds.
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