A new state program will help local landlords cover lease payments from small businesses behind in rent payments because of Covid. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

VALE – Malheur County landlords with business tenants can get help from a state program that compensates for unpaid rents.

Business Oregon’s Commercial Rent Relief Grant Program, which opened last week, is set up to help building owners cover lease payments from small businesses that are behind on their rent because of Covid. Deadline to apply for the program is Friday, March 19.

The program provides up to $100,000 per business tenant but no more than $3 million for each landlord. To qualify, a landlord must agree not to evict the tenant for six months and waive any rights to collect outstanding penalties or interest or enforce eviction clauses connected to the delinquent lease payments between March 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021.

The program is intended to help small businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

While the business tenant and the property owner need to participate in the application process and sign a grant agreement, the application must be filled out and submitted by the landlord.

The program is split into two rounds, the first $50 million will be allocated in the application period that opened last week. Any remaining funds will be used in an additional application period that will open in late April.

To find out more interested individual can go to www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information.

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