Portland restaurant, bar, and food cart owners can now apply for state relief grants related to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Multnomah County has opened applications for $500 and $1,500 grants to be distributed by the end of the year.
Last month, Gov. Kate Brown announced that she would set aside $55 million in aid funding for Oregon businesses, distributed to counties throughout the state. The counties received a base amount of $500,000, with additional funds added based on population. The counties would then decide how the funds would be distributed to business owners.
Yesterday, Multnomah County announced their plan for the funds, which they estimate will land around $7.6 million. The county is mainly distributing the funds to food businesses, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic: Anyone who has held a food service license between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020 is eligible. Specifically, the funding will be available to business owners with licenses for restaurants, food carts, catering companies, bed and breakfasts, benevolent organizations and “limited service” businesses, or businesses selling pre-packaged foods. Food cart owners can apply for $500 grants per license, while all the others can apply for $1,500 per license. However, these are truly set aside for small business owners: People with more than five business licenses cannot apply. The county also says it will prioritize distributing funds to “women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Tribal-owned businesses,” according to the press release.
The application is available online, and the county will accept applications until December 15 at 5 p.m.; the checks should arrive by December 30, 2020.