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
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Once again, the DBBA staff worked passionately and diligently this week to provide excellent service to the EID. Here are just a few of the things we did this week to further our mission.
DBBA staff met with the DBBA board treasurer to review the DBBA budget. In normal years, the DBBA budget income is created in three ways, 1. The EID levy (53% of the total budget), 2. DBBA Streams of Revenue (16% of the total budget) and 3. DBBA Fundraising (31% of the total budget). Due to a loss in the streams of revenue and the inability to hold fundraising events due to COVID19, the DBBA budget was significantly reduced this year. As a small nonprofit with a huge scope of work, stretching every dollars is always a primary focus for the DBBA staff and board, this year more than ever. DBBA staff and DBBA board are working hand-in-hand to make sure that the DBBA can continue to offer their core services to downtown regardless of the budget reduction.
The Bend Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Group met this week, and discussed livability issues, and upcoming events that will impact businesses in the community. The DBBA serves on the Chamber Advocacy group to provide a voice for downtown bend business and building owners on larger issues, and to educate the DBBA board of directors on issues that will impact DBBA stakeholders. DBBA staff and board believe that it is important for Downtown to be involved and connected to community groups and organizations throughout the City, as we are all interconnected and collaboration and consideration will ensure that we all thrive. We also understand that partnerships are necessary for creating the 2040 Downtown Vision, and developing these partnerships is a core part of our strategic plan.
Marketing has been a primary use of staff time, as directed by the DBBA Board, these last few week and for the duration of Q4. DBBA staff has been posting daily on all social media platforms, writing blogs, publishing newsletters and working on videos to support the downtown district. Last March, immediately before the global pandemic hit, the DBBA had increased their budget through streams of revenue and fundraising enough to be able to hire a marketing person for Downtown Bend. However, like many of us, we had to cancel these plans, and the DBBA executive director continued to fill the marketing job description in addition to ED duties at the organization. Recently, the DBBA board has recommended putting efforts into finding volunteers to fill this role. If you are interested in volunteering to market and promote Downtown Bend, please contact us!
On the street, in addition to the daily efforts to keep the district clean and graffiti free, the DBBA installed banners, twinkle lights and began to prepare for Holiday decorating. The DBBA has a stupendous vision for Downtown Bend during the holiday season including winter greenery baskets with lights, lights on every tree, lit snowflakes on every lamppost, lights over the streets, a place for the Community tree in the center of town, and so much more! We are, however, limited by our budget and we believe that in order to create this vision it will require community partnership and a contribution from our City (as it is done in other downtown's across the nation). This year, we are doing the best with what we have. We are pulling out our old wreaths and inviting the community to come down and enjoy some cider with us and spruce them up in a community decorating event - more info coming soon!. We'll be launching an 'adopt a snowflake' program and much more! If you are passionate about the holidays and would like to get involved, please let us know.
Finally, the DBBA Board of Directors had their monthly meeting, as usual on the third Wednesday of the month. To keep up-to-date on board meetings, or to attend a meeting, click here for more information.
It's been another busy week at the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), as we worked passionately to increase the vitality of Downtown Bend.
Our staff wrapped up our summer high-pressure/deep-cleaning sidewalk program, getting some final scrubbing in on our downtown sidewalks. The DBBA works diligently not only to sweep every sidewalk, every morning, 365 days per year - but we also spend the summer months (as temps allow) deep cleaning every inch of our Downtown.
We also met with the City of Bend this week to create a snow management plan for this winter to make sure to keep Downtown Bend, and the new parklets that have been created, snow and ice free. Downtown snow management is a partnership between the City of Bend, The DBBA, and business owners in Downtown Bend. The DBBA owns 2 snow blowers, an ATV with a snow plow attachment and a plethora of large shovels. We keep all of the sidewalks, the ADA parking stalls and the crosswalk areas free of snow. We loan snow shovels to business owners, and we help with ice melt in areas that tend to ice over in downtown. The City of Bend is responsible for keep roadways, parking lots and alleys free of snow and ice in. Downtown business owners are responsible for the areas in front of their business, their parklet, and outdoor seating areas.
Our team has been working creatively to design holiday events that will adhere to state guidelines and CDC recommendations. We've reimagined Shop Small Saturday to take place over three weeks instead of one day in order to spread out guests and keep folks safe! Plus, you'll be able to choose if you want to participate in-person or online!
If you've never participated in our Downtown Bend Shop Small Saturday event - you don't want to miss it this year!! This event is a ton of fun and you can win AMAZING gift baskets filled with incredible local products from our Downtown merchants.
Are you interested in learning more about the DBBA or volunteering to help us keep Downtown Bend thriving? Contact us!
The Downtown Bend Business Association is a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.
For Immediate Release, Aug 24th, 2020
Bend, Or - The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend, announced today that it has created a Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity Coordinator position to serve as an ex-officio on their Board of Directors. This role will coordinate and guide efforts to define, assess, foster and cultivate diversity and inclusion in Downtown Bend.
To drive this effort, the DBBA has named Riccardo Waites as the organization’s first Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity Coordinator.
Waites is a naval submarine veteran, single father, small business owner, and Founder of Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly (COBLA).
Back in 2019, Bend City Councilors unanimously approved goals for the 2019 – 2021 biennium that included, for the first time, actions focused on “embedding a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the City of Bend.” At the time when this goal was established, the DBBA was in full support of these efforts and they also began working with city staff in their efforts to make Bend a Welcoming City.
Since this time, our world has shifted and changed in more ways than one and we are seeing now more than ever the need to bring experts on this diversity and inclusion into every level of leadership. In establishing this new position, the DBBA wants to communicate that Downtown Bend is for everyone, that Black Lives Matter, and that we welcome and honor people of all races, ethnicity, culture, country of origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender, language, socioeconomic status, emotional, developmental and physical ability.
In April, the DBBA partnered with OUT Central Oregon to encourage local businesses to display a "You are Welcome Here" sticker on their windows. Next month, you’ll see “Downtown is for Everyone” in white, yellow, brown, black and rainbow letters on Downtown Bend Directory Maps.
“It is important to our organization that people who live in our community, and those who visit us, know that it doesn’t matter what the color of their skin is, or who they love, Downtown is a place for everyone.” says Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA.
Waites hopes to bring a sense of inclusion, safety, and more businesses of color to Downtown.
Downtown Bend was established in 1903, and for over a 100 years has served as the heart of the Bend community. Downtown serves as Bend’s living room, the entrepreneurial hub of the city, the City’s largest collective employer, and the #1 tourist destination in Central Oregon. Downtown offers unique boutiques, award-winning restaurants, state-of-the-art beauty and spa services, and high-quality entertainment venues.
Downtown welcomes everyone to enjoy all that their district has to offer.
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) and Business for Bend Film hosted a Downtown Business Merchant Meeting at the Tin Pan Theatre this morning, Thursday Feb 6th, 2020. Today’s guest was Melissa King and Aaron Switzer with Lay it Out Events (LIOE). About 35 business owners attended the meeting to learn about changes to Fallfest, Summerfest and the Bite of Bend.
The informal presentation by Aaron Switzer and Q & A session that followed was positive, constructive, and was met with extreme gratitude from local merchants.
The meeting ended with a resounding applause.
“Lay it Out Event’s staff is here and they accept hugs,” joked Mindy Aisling, Executive Directory of the DBBA, in response to the overwhelming acknowledgement of the positive changes that LIOE had presented.
These changes include:
Questions from the engaged audience included, but were not limited to:
Q: Will you be able change the placement of vendors so that a competing vendor isn't right in front of my store?
Q: Is there a way that we can still get our deliveries during these events?
Q: Can I have my own booth in front of my business?
A: Yes, and we'll give you a discounted rate
Q: Is there a cost for all of the new integration tools your suggesting (scavenger hunts, art of song, full downtown page in the event guide)?
After asking half a dozen questions, one business manager exclaimed, "I can't believe it, you've solved all of the problems we've been having during these festivals. This is amazing."
The final comment of the meeting was from a long-time business owner in Downtown Bend, “I’ve been here for 20 years, and these festivals have always been a burden for my business. I’ve never experienced collaboration like this, and I’m incredibly pleased with this development.”
The Downtown Bend Business Association is a small nonprofit committed to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend. For a full scope of work, click here.
Join the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), Lay it Out Events (LIOE), and Bend Film on Thursday, February 6th at 8:30am to discuss the 2020 event season in Downtown Bend.
Over 2018 and 2019, the DBBA has been advocating for business concerns around the multi-day street closures and event policies and procedures in Downtown Bend. Currently, LIOE is the only company holding multi-day festivals in the district. As such, they have listened to the concerns of the business community and responded with 14 purposed changes.
These changes are as follows:
1. LIOE to provide a downtown liaison position to address access issues, support joint marketing efforts and work with LIOE staff to provide for and accommodate a business’s ‘day-of’ needs.
2. LIOE to rotate the stage at Bite of Bend and move the main stage for Fall and Summerfest
3. LIOE to, as code allows, redo layouts to move vendors to the center of the street
4. LIOE to require all event and vendor staff to park off-site and outside of the EID
5. LIOE to provide deeper cleaning post-festival
6. LIOE to provide pre and post-festival meetings with the City and the DBBA
7. LIOE to launch a new app featuring downtown retailer discounts, free to DBBA members for the first year
8. LIOE to design scavenger hunts on this app to drive traffic
9. LIOE to offer stage time, free of charge, to the DBBA and community groups
10. LIOE to conduct surveys at select events and share data with retailers
11. LIOE to facilitate ‘Art of the Song’ workshops (scheduling festival performers to play at local businesses within the EID pre and post-festival.
12. LIOE to work with downtown businesses on sidewalk sale promotions
13. LIOE to provide an after-festival party promotion
14. LIOE to provide dedicated media for Downtown lit – full-page guide ads, separate social media, posters, and logistical support.
Join us for coffee and pastries, provided by Looney Bean Cafe, some fun Bend Film previews and hear all about how the 2020 event season in Downtown Bend is going to be the most successful one yet!
This meeting is open to the public. Please join us at the Tin Pan Theatre, 869 NW Tin Pan Alley in Downtown Bend. (Click here for a map to this location)
As you may be aware, April is national child abuse prevention month, and KIDS Center joins in this prevention movement by participating in the Blue Ribbon Campaign. Typically, at the end of March, KIDS Center staff and volunteers go throughout the tri-counties delivering pinned Blue Ribbon, Blue Ribbon Posters, and Blue Ribbon Newsletters to businesses and organizations that want to promote child abuse prevention. For more information about the Blue Ribbon Campaign, please visit our website at kidscenter.org.
This year the KIDS Center has partnered with the Downtown Bend Business Association to have a presence at April’s First Friday Art Walk. Several galleries will be inviting artists to create a piece of art for that night and KIDS Center and MountainStar will have a table set up in one of the galleries.
Our goal is that on April 3rd, First Friday, all businesses open their doors to show support for Child Abuse Prevention through the Blue Ribbon Campaign.
This can be done in many ways:
- Decorate storefront window in all blue
- Have employees wear blue
- Provide information about the Blue Ribbon throughout your business via rack cards at counter, posters in window, etc.
- Have a cup of pinned blue ribbons at the counter for customers to wear (employees can wear them as well)
- Any other creative venture you would like to do!
Any printed promotional piece will be provided by KIDS Center along with a cup of blue ribbons. Additionally, if your business is wanting more information about KIDS Center, they will come and provide a 20 – 30 minute presentation on our mission, services, and the importance of the Blue Ribbon Campaign in our community.
If you are interested, please let the KIDS Center know via email or phone.
Current participating business include:
Thank you for taking the time and the effort to keep our children safe and show a united and strong community that support kids!
Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk has gone Green!
Let's face it - we all love our planet, so let's take care of it! By purchasing an Art Walk cup for $5, you can help Downtown Bend reduce the amount of single use cups that used and sent to the landfill every month. These cups are reusable every month!
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) extends a huge "THANK YOU" to Patagonia Bend for spearheading this project.
"It wonderful when we can all work together to create a better Bend!" says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association, "We love it when our businesses bring us great ideas like this one!"
Patagonia’s mission statement says it best, “we’re in business to save our home planet”. Through their efforts to reduce waste during the Bend Artwalk, they hope to encourage participants to take further action for our planet. As a community of forward thinkers and environmental activists, the DBBA, Patagonia and other participating businesses hope that this action can spread to other events in the community.
We are asking you, Bend, to help reduce waste in our community! Pick up your Art Walk cup at one of the following locations:
If you're a Downtown Bend business and you'd like to sell these amazing Art Walk cups, contact us.
The Doubletree Hotel sits on the edge of the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District (EID), providing Bend visitors with excellent hospitality and a front door that leads right into the heart of Bend, our downtown.
This access is provided by a long staircase from the Doubletree property to Lava Rd. This year, the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) and the Doubletree Hotel brought the condition of this staircase to the attention of the City of Bend, who owns the property.
The City of Bend quickly responded and they were able to complete the project before winter set it. The Downtown Bend Business Association and the Doubletree Hotel would like to extend their appreciation to the City of Bend for helping visitors access the Downtown Bend boutiques, spas and restaurants owned by local Bend families!