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City of Gresham offers third round of small business emergency grant program

October 14, 2020

The City of Gresham is launching the third phase of an emergency assistance program on October 19 to offer temporary relief to businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19. Thanks to a grant from the State of Oregon, a total of $250,000 is available for businesses with 25 employees or less.

Small businesses are the backbone of our community. So often they are the ones supporting our children’s sports leagues, donating to fundraisers and sponsoring community events,” said Gresham Mayor Karylinn Echols. “Now, during a time of much uncertainty and hardship, I’m so pleased that the City can help them weather the storm through another round of emergency grants. My gratitude goes out to our partners at the State of Oregon for providing this much-needed funding."

The Gresham Small Business Emergency Grant Phase 3 program will open for online applications at on October 19 at 8 a.m. and will close October 23 at 5:00 pm. The program provides one-time grants; the amount will be based on the total number of employees. Business owners receiving grant approval should expect payment by the last week in November. An application preparedness checklist is provided on the grant page to assist with preparing information and documents that will be necessary to complete the application.

Sole proprietors and independent contractors are strongly encouraged to apply, as the State requires that 50% of grant funds, up to $125,000, be awarded to this business category. Businesses owned by members of historically disadvantaged population groups including Black, Indigenous and people of color are also strongly encouraged to apply; the City has notified an extensive list of community partners in an effort to reach this community in advance of the grant opening.

A business is eligible to apply if the business:

  • Is currently open for business.
  • Has an active Gresham business license.
  • Has or has not received funds from the City's Business Emergency Grants in Phase 1 or 2.
  • Is headquartered in Oregon and has its principal operations in Gresham
  • Is registered to do business in Oregon with the Secretary of State (if required by Oregon law).
  • Has 25 or fewer employees.
  • Was adversely affected by COVID-19 in accordance with Governor Brown's Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order No. 20-12, either by:
    • being prohibited to operate, or
    • was able to operate but saw a one-month decline in sales of 50% or more compared to January or February of 2020, or the same period in 2019 for seasonal businesses.

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Businesses (such as marijuana businesses) that do not comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
  • Business that do not already have an active Gresham business license in good standing.
  • Passive real estate holding companies and other entities holding passive investments (such as residential rental properties or short-term rentals).
  • Nonprofit entities that do not have federal 501(c)(3) status.
  • Businesses that experience a decline in revenues for reasons other than those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., seasonal or cyclical businesses).
  • Businesses that are delinquent on federal, state or local taxes that were due on or before the date of application.
  • Businesses that have already received grant funds through the State of Oregon COVID-19 Emergency Business Grant program or from the Statewide Business and Cultural Support program.

The City was one of the first agencies in the region to quickly create an emergency relief program for businesses, launching the first round on March 20, just four days after a statewide order closed in-person dining at restaurants. A second round opened on March 31. All told, the City’s emergency assistance program so far has assisted 294 businesses with a total of $876,000 in grant funding issued.