GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The City of Grants Pass will offer an emergency grant program to local businesses struggling from the state's response to COVID-19. The City Council unanimously approved the grants in a meeting on Monday.
The new grant program will provide up to $2,500 in assistance to qualifying local businesses to assist with mortgage, rent and lease payments, utility costs, and payroll expenses.
“While nearly all businesses are facing economic losses right now, businesses that are under mandatory change in service guidelines are experiencing additional, extenuating circumstances,” said City Manager Aaron Cubic.
Businesses interested in the grants must prove that they were operating before Governor Brown's executive order on March 23, and that they intend to stay open once the order is lifted.
“By offering this unique grant program, the city is recognizing the importance of our small businesses and their impact to the stability and vitality of our community,” said Cubic.
The City said that it has limited funding, so the grants will go out on a first-come, first-served basis until all of the funds are gone. $500,000 comes from the city's Industrial Loan Fund, plus $285,000 from the Commercial and Nonprofit Infrastructure Incentive Fund.
Cubic believes that the funding will cover most of the roughly 400 local businesses that the City has found to be possible grant candidates in a brief analysis. National chains or franchises will not be eligible.
“It is the intent of the city to assist and support the small businesses impacted by the current pandemic and to help them recover, flourish and remain in Grants Pass,” Cubic said.
Qualifying businesses must have 50 employees or less, operating from a "brick and mortar" storefront within the city limits or the Urban Growth Boundary. They must have a current City of Grants Pass Business and Occupation Tax Certificate and must show that they have been directly affected by the state-ordered mandatory change in service.
Applicants must submit a completed application, W-9 form, and required supporting financial information. A Grant Review Committee will review completed applications, and funds will be dispersed upon approval.