OR Offers Grants for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

A reposted Article from the Public News Service & Portland Business Journal

ALBANY, Ore. — Oregon is helping small businesses hurt by COVID-19 and left behind by federal relief. Community Development Financial Institutions, including four credit unions in the state, are processing and distributing the funds that the Legislature approved this month.

About $1.5 million in grants are left to be doled out to businesses with 25 employees or fewer. Stacie Wyss-Schoenborn is the president and CEO of the Albany-based Central Willamette Credit Union. She said some folks were too busy to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

“They’re really focused on keeping their business going, so they haven’t had the time or the capacity to pursue a PPP or an EIDL loan,” said Wyss-Schoenborn. “And so this is an opportunity for them to get some funds through the state to assist them in maintaining their business operation.”

Wyss-Schoenborn said the grants don’t have to be paid back and can be used for anything, including rent, utilities or paying employees.

Consolidated CommunityPoint West and Trailhead credit unions also are distributing grants. The deadline for applications to be submitted, processed and approved is August 17.

Wyss-Schoenborn said they are focused on serving rural communities and historically disadvantaged groups.

“Making sure that those individuals that have typically been marginalized or have found it challenging to get access to funds,” said Wyss-Schoenborn, “such as women-owned, Black-owned and veteran-owned businesses, have the opportunity to take advantage of these grant funds.”

She said credit unions are flexible in how they can accommodate businesses.

“If you need to fax it to us, we’ll accept that,” said Wyss-Schoenborn. “If you need to drop it off in person, we’ll accept that. If you can send it electronically, that is ideal.”

Business owners can find out more about applying through Central Willamette Credit Union at centralwcu.org.’

Posted in NWCUA in the News.