$1.5 Million in Grants Still Available for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19


Four Oregon credit unions partnering with the state of Oregon to distribute grants to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, still have $1.5 million available to distribute. The grants do not have to be paid back, and business owners don’t have to be members of the participating credit unions to apply. Applications must be received by Aug. 17.

Out of concern that very small businesses — those with fewer than 25 employees — were left behind by federal COVID-19 relief packages, the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown set aside $5 million, asking Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to process the applications and issue the grants.

Four credit unions with CDFI designation — Consolidated Community, Trailhead, Point West, and Central Willamette — stepped up and will fund grants ranging from $2,500 to $12,500.

“This is an opportunity for other credit unions to send their members who own small businesses to one of the four participating credit unions, to get much-needed relief,” said Pamela Leavitt, the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Policy Advisor for Oregon State Advocacy and Grassroots. “These small, Main Street businesses have worked hard to serve Oregon communities, and we want to make sure credit unions collaborate to help them get grants.”

The grants are intended for small businesses that did not receive Paycheck Protection Program loans or other forms of CARES Act relief. The program is designed for historically disadvantaged businesses in every corner of the state with a focus on business owners who are Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, or women, businesses serving rural communities, and sole proprietorships.

“So far, we have seen credit unions fund businesses such as a print shop, a local nonprofit focused on the arts, a small restaurant, a truck repair shop, a housekeeping business, and more,” said Leavitt. “They are funding the very businesses this money was set aside for, and we want to get the word out in the Credit Union Movement that there is still money available.”

The credit unions collaborated to ensure all areas of the state are served.

[table “273” not found /]

Oregon credit unions can refer their business owner members to one of the collaborating credit unions by sharing these email addresses and webpages:

Have a question or comment about this story? Email us!

Posted in Public Awareness.