On April 22, Business Oregon will open the second round of a grant program for building owners to cover outstanding lease payments from small business tenants that are behind on rent due to COVID-19. The grants can go up to $100,000 per each business tenant, but not more than $3 million for each landlord.
There is $42 million available in this round. Round one of the program launched March 22, with 2,965 applications requesting $65.4 million. Most grant applicants from round one are receiving funding, as there was $49.9M available in round one. The funding is being allocated by region, to ensure it reaches businesses throughout the state. 2,609 grants will be awarded from the round one applicant pool, with only the Portland Metro region seeing more demand than available funds. Those applicants not selected in round one are automatically entered into round two.
This program helps small business tenants that have 100 or fewer employees. Both the business tenant and property owner will need to participate in the application process and sign the grant agreement, but the initial application needs to be completed by the landlord. The online application process is very simple, and information is available in multiple languages. In addition to Business Oregon staff, the agency has contracted with culturally-focused organizations to help small businesses and their landlords with the process if they have questions. A list is available on the Business Oregon website.
There are some minor changes to round two versus round one to accommodate additional applicants. The minimum grant amount is now $500 (from $1,000), landlords can be publicly-traded businesses, and sole proprietors do not need to register their business with the secretary of state if they are not otherwise required to do so.
The program will open for online applications April 22 and will be open for two weeks, closing May 6. It is not first-come, first-served. Applications will be chosen by a random lottery system in any geographic regions that have more applicants than available funds.
This is the seventh COVID-specific program Business Oregon has implemented to help businesses navigate the impacts of the pandemic. One of those programs — the emergency small business grant — helped about 7,400 small businesses with $43 million in grants to help offset revenue impacts from COVID-19.
More program information and eligibility details are available on Business Oregon’s website, along with the application link on April 22.