ASHLAND, Ore. — A new round of funding will be available for Oregon small businesses starting on Thursday, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday.
With economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, the Oregon legislature and Governor Kate Brown approved another $20 million for Business Oregon's emergency grant fund. Roughly $25 million in grants have already gone out to businesses over four rounds of funding.
However, this time the grants promise to be more flexible, opening up funding to businesses that were not eligible in prior rounds. First, the funding can be accessed directly through Business Oregon instead of from intermediaries, like local governments. Businesses with up to 100 employees can also now apply, instead of the previous cap of 25 employees.
These grants are also available to businesses that received assistance previously through the CARES Act, including PPP and EIDL loans. Businesses of up to 25 employees that have already received between $100,000 and $1 million from federal sources are eligible to apply. Those with up to 100 employees may be eligible no matter how much they received in federal resources.
"Businesses are eligible to receive up to $200,000 in grant funding as detailed in the grant application," the Ashland Chamber said. "To be eligible, a business must show it was prohibited from operations by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12, or demonstrate a 25% reduction in sales over a 30-day period in 2020 compared to a comparable period in 2019."
The application form and more details will be on the Business Oregon website on Thursday. Grants will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis, and will handed out "so that there is an equitable geographic distribution of funds" as directed by the Oregon Legislature.
Once $25 million in applications are received, the Business Oregon portal will close.