Washington County announces small business grant, loan assistance

By: Max Egener - Apr 15, 2020
Source: Hillsboro News Times

Washington County announced Wednesday, April 15, a new grant and loan program available to small businesses hurting from the impacts of the coronavirus.

Businesses only have a short window to apply, though. After opening at 8 a.m. April 15, the application window will close after 5 p.m. April 16.

The program will include $300,000 in grants and nearly $875,000 in small and medium-sized loans to eligible businesses. Businesses that receive the money can use it to cover expenses like payroll and benefits, rent or mortgage payments, and utility bills.

Businesses applying for a grant can receive up to $3,000. The maximum amount for small and medium loans will be $10,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Businesses must not have already received funds from similar programs within the county — from cities or the Washington County Visitors Association, for example. Those that have received federal, state or other aid available nationwide can still apply.

"Applications will be reviewed to prioritize businesses that have historically faced a systemic lack of access to banking resources," the county said in a statement.

Eligible businesses must be negatively affected by the coronavirus outbreak, physically located in Washington County and serve county residents.

Businesses can only apply if they employed 25 or fewer people on or before Feb. 28.

If they're part of a chain, they must be an individually-owned franchise.

They also must have been in operation for at least one year.

"Washington County is home to several thousand small businesses who serve as the backbone of our local economy," said Kathryn Harrington, chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, in a statement. "We know that the resources we are offering through this business assistance program will not be enough to reach all businesses, but we are doing our part to find ways to stretch those dollars, with recognition of communities that have historically been underserved."

The program was created in partnership with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon and funding non-profit Craft3.