Oregon offers $20 million in new, more flexible small business grants - KDRV

Oregon offers $20 million in new, more flexible small business grants - KDRV

Oregon offers $20 million in new, more flexible small business grants - KDRV

Posted: 18 Nov 2020 04:17 PM PST

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.

Another $120 million in grants will go to Wisconsin small businesses during the pandemic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: 20 Nov 2020 07:37 AM PST


While Wisconsin small businesses are waiting to hear if they have been awarded "We're All In" grants through the state government, the pot of money has increased by $70 million. 

Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday that an additional $70 million had been added to the second round of grants to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding economic downturn. The second round will award a total of $120 million to businesses. The total investment in the program is $185 million. 

The application period for the grant funding closed in early November. More than 48,000 applications were submitted for the second round of funding, according to a news release. Priority will be given to businesses that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The funding will be distributed by mid-December.

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"There's no business that hasn't been affected by this pandemic, and we know folks across our state need our support now more than ever," Evers said in the announcement. "As we head into the winter months, we know we have to do everything we can to make sure our businesses have the resources they need as we continue fighting this virus."

Since the program started this summer, the pandemic in Wisconsin has worsened. The number of new cases announced every day has increased rapidly. The seven-day average as of Thursday was a record-high 6,563. Nearly 3,000 Wisconsinites have died from the virus. The state's hospital association wrote in a letter that Wisconsin is on the brink of "catastrophe." 

The "We're All In" program awarded more than $65 million in grants to more than 26,000 small businesses statewide during the first round of funding this summer. The program is funded through federal CARES Act dollars and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in partnership with Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

"In my conversations with restaurants, taverns, small retail stores, and other businesses that rely on people gathering indoors, we know that the continued surge of COVID-19 infections is deepening the strain and uncertainty these businesses have been facing since March," said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes in the news release. "With thousands more businesses applying for the second phase of our 'We're All In' grants than the first phase, we want to provide aid that can help these businesses carry on."

Wisconsin-based, for-profit businesses are eligible for the program if more than 75% of company labor and assets are in Wisconsin, have earned less than $1 million in annual revenues, started operating prior to Jan. 1 and have filed their 2019 taxes. 

Sarah Hauer can be reached at shauer@journalsentinel.com or on Instagram @HauerSarah and Twitter @SarahHauer. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Be MKE at jsonline.com/bemke

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