Oregon’s state business development agency, Business Oregon, has put together $2 million in grant funding to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program uses federal funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Small Business Assistance & Microenterprise Projects program “is seeking applications from non-entitlement cities and counties for grant assistance program for small businesses and microenterprises hit hardest due to the impact of COVID-19. The focus of this funding is low- and moderate-income job retention/creation and businesses remaining solvent during the COVID-19 crisis.”
The maximum allowable per grant application is $150,000.
The state CDBG program is available to non-entitlement cities or counties that do not receive direct CDBG funds from HUD.
The objective of this grant, as per the guidelines, is that the funds are to be utilized to assist small businesses by:
- Creating new businesses or business expansion to create jobs and manufacture medical supplies necessary to respond to COVID-19;
- Avoiding job loss caused by business closures related to social distancing by providing short-term working capital assistance to small businesses to enable retention of jobs held by low- and moderate-income persons;
- Providing technical assistance, grants and other financial assistance to establish, stabilize, and expand microenterprises that provide medical, food delivery, cleaning, and other services to support home health and quarantine;
- Helping businesses remain solvent through the crisis and be ready/able to
rebuild and/or reopen; and
- Filling specific cash flow gaps in businesses’ larger efforts to scale down, reduce expenses, and take any additional defensive measures to survive the crisis.
Applications for the grant will be accepted until the funds run out. Interested applicants should review the guidelines to determine eligibility. Applicants also will need to fill out a pre-application.
Business Oregon is also recommending that interested applicants also review the CDBG Grant Management Handbook prior to applying.