State reopens Covid relief fund program for medium-sized businesses in eastern Oregon

Small businesses in eastern Oregon are eligible for a new round of state relief money. Interested merchants have until 3 p.m. Tuesday to get their applications in. (Kezia Setyawan/The Enterprise)

ONTARIO – Small businesses in Malheur County can tap into $2 million in a new round of state relief but they have to act quick to get any of the money.

Biz Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, will offer up to $200,000 in funding for small businesses in eastern Oregon that meet requirements.

To qualify, a business must show it was barred from operating by Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders or saw a 25% drop in sales over a 30-day period in 2020 compared to 2019. The program also requires that small businesses already have received at least $100,000 in federal assistance.

The application must be submitted by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, and is available on the Biz Oregon web site at https://www.oregon4biz.com/coronavirusinformation/ESBA

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Businesses that employ up to 25 employees are eligible. Businesses with 26 to 100 employees are also authorized to participate.

The program is the fifth round of funding distribution derived from the $2.2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – or CARES ACT – passed by The Congress last spring.

The fifth round opened last week was quickly indicated with applications, said Biz Oregon spokesman Nathan Buehler.

Buehler said within 25 minutes the state agency received more than 2,000 applications seeking $100 million in requests.

Because there was only $20 million available, the state agency closed down the application portal.

After the portal was closed, state officials realized more representation from eastern Oregon – a key requirement of the program – was needed and decided to open the program back up for two days.

“It reinforces we know there is a need out there,” said Buehler.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

 GET YOUR LOCAL NEWS FROM REAL PROFESSIONALS: Reader support allows the Enterprise to provide in-depth, accurate reporting that otherwise would not get done. Keeping the community well informed is essential. SUBSCRIBE – $5 a month, automatically. DONATE – to provide additional support.