FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2020
More Grants to Help Oregon Small Businesses are on the Way
Salem, OR — As the economic impacts of the pandemic continue, the Oregon legislature and Governor Kate Brown have allocated millions more in grant funding for Business Oregon to deliver into the hands of small businesses across Oregon. On Monday, November 9th, the Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature approved $20 million more to Business Oregon’s Emergency Business Assistance Grant Fund. This funding and program are separate from the $55 million in funds the Governor also announced this week.
This grant fund has already put approximately $25 million out into the community through four rounds of funding. The first four rounds were allocated from Business Oregon to intermediary lenders such as cities, counties, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and Economic Development Districts (EDDs), who in turn granted the money to individual businesses. With this new round, Business Oregon is able to fund businesses directly. The grants are available to small businesses that have seen lost revenue due to the pandemic, and that meet a minimal set of requirements.
“This funding is timely, as we face the sharp increase in COVID-19 under this new wave of the pandemic,” said Business Oregon Director Chris Cummings. “These grants can help our small business owners today, but to get back to business in the long haul we’ve got to do what it takes now to stop the spread of this virus.”
This round makes some changes to previous rounds of grant funding under the program, so that more businesses can access the funds. Businesses with up to 100 employees can apply, whereas previous funding was limited to those with up to 25 employees, to ensure smaller businesses could access the funds first.
Most previous rounds also targeted businesses that did not already receive assistance through the CARES Act (such as PPP, EIDL, City of Portland Small Relief Program, the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief + Resiliency and other programs funded with CARES Act funds). This round will now consider applications from businesses with 1 to 25 employees that have already received anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million in funding from these federal resources. Businesses with 26 to 100 employees are eligible regardless of the amount of federal resources they received (up to $1,000,000), if they meet other program requirements.
Businesses are eligible to receive up to $200,000 in grant funding as detailed in the grant application. 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.
Tomorrow, Thursday November 19, the application form and additional details will be found on Business Oregon’s website. If the application is not yet posted in the morning, a time estimate will be provided on the web page. Grants will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis, and will be allocated so that there is an equitable geographic distribution of funds as dictated by the Oregon Legislature.
The application portal will close once applications totaling $25 million in requested grants are received. Business Oregon will reopen the portal if any funds remain after reviewing those initial applications for eligibility.
Additional resources and information on COVID-19 response can be found on the department’s website, and the Governor's COVID-19 web page has the latest guidance.
Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at www.oregon4biz.com.
Media Contact: Nathan Buehler 503-689-3559
Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at www.oregon4biz.com
It was another wonderful week supporting small businesses in Downtown Bend! Our mission is the increase the vitality of Downtown Bend, and DBBA staff and board once again worked tirelessly at this mission.
We also had a ton of fun putting together the community tree lighting for Bend. This event is always one of the highlights of the year for DBBA staff.
"I can't help it," says Mindy Aisling, DBBA Executive Director, "I tear up at every community tree lighting. There is just something so magical and small-town about Santa counting down to the lighting of the community tree with the citizens our our community."
This year, because of COVID19, the community tree lighting (like everything else) had to be re-imagined. In years past, the community tree lighting has been a big party, where local Bend families come out to visit with Santa, drink local beer, sing songs, and light the community tree together. For 2020, the Community tree lighting is going virtual. DBBA staff worked with Mayor Russell, Bob Shaw and Santa to pre-record the tree lighting and have it played on KTVZ on Friday, 11/27, so that the community could count down to the lighting of the tree from the comfort and safety of their homes. For more information, click here.
This week we also continued to work on the Shop Small Passport Event to drive traffic to local businesses. This year we are once again registered as a Neighborhood Champion with American Express, which allows us to receive free swag that we can give out to participants. We worked to get all these goodies out, we continued to promote on our social media, and we made sure that our stores at the supplies they needed.
As we mentioned in a previous weekly update, we are passing on savings so that businesses can market themselves at a discounted rate in the Downtown Bend Holiday Guide that will publish in The Source on 12/10. We are also creating a full centerpiece spread with photos of our local merchants and families and the messaging will say "Shopping local supports local Bend families" - or something similar. We are working hard to spread the message that shopping local matters!
Meeting with the wonderful women who are running the new North West Crossing (NWX) Business Association was a delight. We discussed a plethora of ways to collaborate for the good of our community. With a powerful belief that collaboration works better than competition we set forward on a path to include not only our two districts, but other shopping districts, such as The Box Factory and Old Mill to unite for a common good. By working together, we can make sure that planned events don't overlap, that promotions and event compliment each other, and that we are able to offer each other wisdom, experience and support.
This week was also the DBBA Board of Directors meeting. The DBBA Board of Directors meets every month on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, and is open to the public. To follow along with our agenda and minutes, click here. If you'd like to attend the next board meeting, click here to be added to the calendar invite. This month we had a guest speaker from Yiftee, a digital gift card program, and the board and staff decided to move forward to test the public and business participation of an online option for our currently paper-only Downtown Dollar program. We are excited to roll this out, and (if all goes as planned) we'll have some exciting updates for you in regards to this program and future sponsorship!
Oregon Mainstreet is a organization that we are grateful to be a part of every single day. Collaborating with other downtown districts, and sharing mutual benefits is a powerful component to increasing the vitality of our downtown district. This week, Oregon Mainstreet offer a series of webinars on funding. This kind of valuable education is just one of the benefits we receive from Oregon Mainstreet. The DBBA board and staff are taking a long, deep look at funding for the organization in preparation for the EID renewal in Spring 2021. If you have any questions about DBBA funding, please feel free to reach out to us.
We've been meeting with the newly elected councilors for Bend City Council, and we are looking forward to working with them to build a strong downtown for years to come. This past week we met with Melanie Kebler to talk about funding, beautification, water conservation, parking, open streets, future Holiday programs to increase tourism, & more.
In 2018, the DBBA Executive Director met with all of the business and building owners who were willing to sit down and talk about what they wanted for Downtown Bend and how they felt that the DBBA could support that vision. One thing that we heard was that our stakeholders wanted more advocacy and resources. We have worked diligently at supplying these things both pre and post COVID19. This week we once again communicated with our stakeholders on how to participate in advocacy for their industry and how to receive support for themselves and their staff.
Last but not least, we continued to decorate Downtown Bend for the holidays. As mentioned in a previous post, this year we upgraded all of our wreaths to include solar-paneled warm white twinkle lights, and we're loving the way they look!
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) is a small nonprofit
dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.
As a bar or restaurant, we know that this latest "freeze" is heartbreaking - and as the owner of any small business, we know that you might be apprehensive about what is to come. We thought that you might like to know about what advocacy is being done on your behalf, and what resources are available.
The Independent Restaurant Alliance of Oregon (IRAO), and over 300 members from the group have signed a new letter to Governor Kate Brown and officials asking for some relief and help for local restaurants and bars. You can read more here.
The Coronavirus Recovery Business Coalition, a large and diverse alliance of businesses and business associations, sent the attached letter to Governor Brown, urging her to pause on any future business closures or curtailed operations and instead engage in a series of actions the state can take to slow the spread of the virus. Please see the document below for more information.
Mainstreet Partnerships and Downtown Associations across the state of Oregon, including but not limited to, The Dalles Downtown Association, Astoria Downtown Association, Downtown Beaverton, Alberta Main Street, Hillsboro Downtown Partnership, Newburg Downtown, and Klamath Falls have written a letter urging the Governor to call a special session in November to take up the issue of To-Go Cocktails. Please see the attached draft letter adopted from the IRAO website that was used as a template.
On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, fifty-one leaders throughout the State of Oregon including members of the Oregon Senate & Oregon House, and Commissioners from fourteen counties - including all three commissioners of Klamath County - sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown urging her to stop the one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 mandates. The letter asks for each county to control themselves. Read more here.
The Oregon Beverage Alliance drafted a petition asking local lawmakers to support Oregon’s breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries, restaurants and bars by opposing tax increases here: https://donttaxmydrink.org/petition/.
As the economic impacts of the pandemic continue, the Oregon legislature and Governor Kate Brown have allocated millions more in grant funding for Business Oregon to deliver into the hands of small businesses across Oregon. Thursday November 19, the grant application form and additional details will be go live on Business Oregon’s website.
Shutting down your business can mean laying off employees who may have just returned to work after navigating a broken unemployment system. Directing laid off staff to the following resources as quickly as possible is the best way to ensure they can access the benefits they’ll need:
If you need additional help please call the City of Bend's business assistance line at 541-323-7151. The City of Bend will also return to posting updates and assistance opportunities at bendoregon.gov/bizresources as well.
For over a decade FOUND Natural Goods’ CEO & Founder, Jacqueline Smith, has showcased the unique beauty and value of commercial products for local, national, and international brands. Today and since 2015, FOUND Natural Goods has been her sole focus.
As a kiddo growing up in rural Central Oregon, gathering thunder eggs, juniper berries, and obsidian arrowheads was a pastime that naturally evolved into a general aesthetic. Pairing that found feeling with sustainability was the next step in sourcing PNW women artists and progressive products free from packaging, utilizing glass or upcycling materials. From there, FOUND Natural Goods was born online and now, downtown Bend, Oregon next to The Pine Tavern and Bend Brewing Company.
Found Natural Goods is a sustainable shop featuring beautiful things found in nature: eco home decor, handmade jewelry, organic beauty products.
Membership in any Good Drop wine club also carries special privileges including:
Often people ask me about why it's important to shop locally. There are so many reasons to shop locally, that sometimes I'm overwhelmed trying to from a complete and full-picture answer, so I thought I'd take a few moments this morning to put all of my thoughts and feelings about shopping locally into words.
“Going local means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.” – Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.
Here are some of my values that I choose to vote for with my dollar:
#1 - I don't shop with companies like Amazon, because I don't believe that one man should make $321 million per day while others only make $58 per day. To me, this inequity is not the foundation of the country I want to build, or the 'better tomorrow' that I want to create. When I spend my money at a plethora of small local businesses in my community, I am actively contributing to the distribution of wealth. This allows me to feel good because I am living in alignment with my core values.
#2 - I am enamored with entrepreneurship. The fact that someone, anyone, can open a small business doing what they love and make a living doing it is delightful. I believe we need more passion in this world - more people doing what they love to do. This is why I spend my money locally - to support someone's dream, someone's passion. I think that when more people do the things they love to do that it creates a better world for all of us.
#4 - Being a good steward of our planet and resources. When I spend my money locally, I feel good because I know that local businesses make more local purchases, not only does this continue to help the local economy, but less transportation is required. In turn, I'm contributing less to pollution, traffic congestion, habitat loss and resource depletion.
#5 - We need each other. I believe that connection matters to our health and wellness. I believe that we can not thrive alone. All of the tiny human interactions in a day impact the people that we are. The way someone greets you, a smile from a clerk at the market, shared laughter, a joke, a story, a meeting of eyes - it ALL MATTERS. When we shop local we build local connections, which in turn builds our inner sense of wellbeing, and well as the fostering that same wellbeing in the community. Shopping local is good for our heatlh.
Written by Mindy Amita Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA.
Long-time entrepreneur and previous business coach, Mindy brings years of expertise to the Downtown Bend Business Association, where she's been in service to the Downtown Bend community since 2015.
In her free time, Mindy loves long backpacking adventures, challenging mountaineering trips, playing board games with friends, listening to live music, competing in bar trivia, and like any good Bendite - drinking craft beer.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the DBBA.
Unfortunately we had to cancel our Wreath Spruce-up Ball due to the increasing numbers of COVID19. This event would have allowed a group of volunteers to come together and beautify the wreaths that hang in Downtown Bend.
As many of us have had to do in a multititle of ways since COVID19, this was a quick plot shift and the DBBA had to shift gears quickly to find a way to get a plethora of wreaths cleaned, fluffed, and redecorated quickly so that they could be installed in Downtown Bend.
DBBA Staff and Board rallied together to make this happen. This included board and staff taking wreaths home to complete the job. We'd like to give a big shout-out to aos Skincare and Spa and The Wine Shoppe in Downtown Bend - two businesses and board members who really came to the rescue - taking lots of wreaths home to decorate and bring back to be installed in Downtown Bend.
This year we've worked to transform the the decorations to a Winter theme - including solar-paneled warm white fairy lights. Our hopes is that this will allow us to keep the wreaths up longer (into Jan, Feb and March) when we're still experiencing a lot of darkness and snow in Downtown Bend. Let us know what you think when your shopping and dining in Downtown Bend!