In partnership with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) and funding non-profit Craft3, Washington County announced a grant and loan program today to help small businesses weather the new coronavirus pandemic over the short-term.
The programs will provide $300,000 in grants and close to $875,000 in small and medium-sized loans to eligible businesses. Grant and loan applications will be reviewed to prioritize businesses that have historically faced a systemic lack of access to banking resources. Funds from both sources can be used to cover expenses like payroll and benefits, rent or mortgage payments and utilities.
“Washington County is home to several thousand small businesses who serve as the backbone of our local economy,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington. “We know that the resources we are offering through this business assistance program will not be enough to reach all businesses, but we are doing our part to find ways to stretch those dollars, with recognition of communities that have historically been underserved. We are grateful for the expertise, resources and partnership with MESO and Craft3. I especially want to thank Commissioners Jerry Willey and Pam Treece for their leadership in this effort. On behalf of the entire Board of Commissioners, I appreciate everyone’s hard work and sacrifice to keep our community, neighbors and workplaces safe.”
Eligible businesses would need to be:
- Physically located in Washington County and serving county residents;
- Negatively affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic;
- If part of a chain, an individually owned franchise;
- An employer of no more than 25 individuals on or before February 28, 2020;
- A business that has not received funds from similar programs established within the county (i.e. cities, Washington County Visitors Association, etc.); Businesses that have received federal, state or other aid that is available countywide would still qualify; and
- A business that has been in operation for at least one year.
Applications will be available beginning 8 a.m. April 15 and open until 5 p.m. April 16.
All applications that are submitted will be reviewed to meet eligibility requirements and to ensure county goals of reaching across the county and providing resources to businesses that have historically faced difficulty accessing banking tools. The applications are available on the county’s website for business assistance:
Businesses with questions should contact John Southgate, the county’s economic development contractor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex Vidal, staff assistant to the Board of Commissioners, at Alex_Vidal@co.washington.or.us.