GRANTS PASS – The Grants Pass City Council unanimously approved the creation of an emergency grant program to assist local businesses affected by Covid-19 related state-mandated restrictions. The Emergency Grant Assistance Recovery Program was approved as part of council actions at their meeting Monday, April 6.
The new grant program will provide up to $2,500 in assistance to qualifying local businesses to assist with mortgage, rent and/or lease payments, utility costs, and payroll expenses.
“While nearly all businesses are facing economic losses right now, businesses that are under mandatory change in service guidelines are experiencing additional, extenuating circumstances,” said City Manager Aaron Cubic.
Qualifying businesses must certify that they were in operation prior to Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s March 23 Executive Order mandating business restrictions, and that they intend to stay in operation once the March 23 order is lifted.
“By offering this unique grant program, the city is recognizing the importance of our small businesses and their impact to the stability and vitality of our community,” said Cubic.
Due to limited funding, the grants will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis until available funds are exhausted. Councilors voted to fund the program with $500,000 from the city’s Industrial Loan Fund, and another $285,000 from the city’s Commercial and Nonprofit Infrastructure Incentive Fund.
Cubic estimates the funding will cover most of approximately 400 businesses identified as potential grant candidates in cursory analysis conducted by city staff. National chains and franchises are not eligible for the grant.
“It is the intent of the city to assist and support the small businesses impacted by the current pandemic and to help them recover, flourish and remain in Grants Pass,” Cubic said.
Businesses with 50 employees or less operating out of a brick and mortar storefront located within city limits or the city’s Urban Growth Boundary can qualify. The business must have a current City of Grants Pass Business and Occupation Tax Certificate and must demonstrate that it has been directly affected by the state-ordered mandatory change in service.
Applicants must submit a completed application, W-9 form, and required supporting financial information. A Grant Review Committee will review completed applications, and funds will be dispersed upon approval.
Online applications are available at the city’s website: https://www.grantspassoregon.gov/1355/COVID-19-Information
For additional information, contact Susan Seereiter, business advocate: (541)450-6014.