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Posted on: May 5, 2020

Council Approves Three COVID-19 Business Loan and Grant Programs

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The Portland City Council voted at its May 4, 2020 meeting to approve three business loan and grant programs designed by the Portland Development Corporation and the City’s Economic Development Department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three programs are all intended to assist Portland businesses needing help due to COVID-19. The programs include the Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (Rehiring), the Microenterprise Grant Program, and the Rapid Response Micro Loan Program.

Both the Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (Rehiring) (BAP) and the Microenterprise Grant Program (MGP) have been reviewed by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) staff for consistency with US HUD guidelines. Staff will be seeking CDBG funding for two of the programs approved by the City Council. The Portland Rapid Response Micro Loan Program (RRMP) will be funded with $400,000 from the PDC’s unrestricted loan funds, with $250,000 focused on the first round of the program. The City Council may approve the programs to receive the City’s COVID-19 CDBG funding at its May 18th meeting.

All three business assistance programs will likely be launched on May 19 with applications available on the City’s website that day. Over the next few weeks, businesses are encouraged to make sure they have the following documents ready to attach to their applications so they can submit quickly. These include a personal financial statement - from all owners of the business with 20% ownership or greater; 2018 and 2019 business tax returns; Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss for 2019; and a payroll from January 31, 2020 showing number of full and part-time employees at that time.

About the programs:

Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (Rehiring):  The City of Portland’s COVID-19 Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (Rehiring) (BAP) provides $5,000 in grant funding to small businesses for rehiring two or more full-time employees that were on the payroll as of January 31, 2020. The jobs, which must be filled by low/moderate income individuals, could include previous employees or new employees. This program is not intended to substitute for available COVID-19 federal and/or state commercial financing programs if a business is able to access them. Funding through this program cannot be combined with any other PDC COVID-19 Program. 

Microenterprise Grant Program:  The City of Portland’s Microenterprise Grant Program (MGP) is targeted to very small businesses with less than two employees. The MGP provides grants of up to $2,500 to existing Portland Microenterprises that have been impacted by the COVID 19 crisis. The definition of a microenterprise for the purposes of this program, is a business that has no more than one full time equivalent employee (FTE), which could be 1 full-time or 2 part-time employees, as well as the business owner who must be a low/moderate income individual. Funding through this program cannot be combined with any other PDC COVID-19 Program. 

Rapid Response Micro Loan Program:  The City of Portland Rapid Response Micro Loan Program (RRMP) is targeted to small businesses that had two to eight employees on January 31, 2020. The RRMP provides loans up to $10,000 with $5,000 forgiven if 50% of employees are hired back within nine months of signing a loan agreement or six months after the applicable Stay at Home or other COVID-19 emergency orders have been lifted with respect to the borrower’s type of business, whichever comes first. This program is not intended to substitute for available COVID-19 federal and/or state commercial financing if a business is able to access one or both. Funding through this program cannot be combined with any other PDC COVID-19 Program.       


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