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City of Gresham expands small business emergency grant program; opens second round of applications March 31

March 27, 2020

The City of Gresham is launching the second phase of an emergency assistance program on March 31 to offer temporary relief to businesses impacted by the statewide stay at home order. This expanded program includes all qualifying businesses that are significantly impacted or closed by COVID-19.

"We are doing everything we can possibly do at the local level to address this global crisis,” said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. “We will get to the other side of this crisis, but if we want our vibrancy and community vitality to get there with us, these small business grants are critically important."

The Gresham Small Business Emergency Grant Phase II program will open for online applications on March 31 at 10 am. The program provides one-time grants of $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000 per business to qualifying Gresham business owners. A total of $400,000 is available through this program. Business owners receiving grant approval should expect payment approximately 7-10 days after application submittal.

Grant applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Businesses that have been ordered closed in accordance with Governor Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” Executive Order No. 20-12.
  • Significant impact of COVID-19 on business finances.
  • How the grant funds will be utilized.
  • Number of years operating within Gresham.
  • Women, minority or veteran-owned businesses within Gresham.

In order for businesses to qualify for the grant, they must also meet the following criteria:

  • With the exception of approved independent contractors, at least 30% of the grant must go towards payment of lease rent. Grants can also be used for other capital operating expenses such as lease payments, utilities, payroll and essential supplies.
  • The grant must preserve at least one job.
  • Businesses must be in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Orders.
  • A current City of Gresham business license is required.
  • A physical “brick and mortar” presence in Gresham is required; independent contractors operating within a physical Gresham location may also be eligible. Licensed food cart owners may also qualify.
  • Business owners of multiple Gresham businesses are limited to one grant. Business owners that have been or will be approved for funding during the previous round of the Small Business Emergency Grant program are not eligible.
  • Corporate or franchise businesses with more than three existing locations do not qualify unless that business is primarily owned by a Gresham resident(s).
  • Businesses with current or pending OLCC infractions do not qualify.
  • Businesses that exclude minors do not qualify, unless the exclusion is only limited to a portion of the day.
  • Businesses with outstanding City related liens or fees are not eligible to receive a grant.

The first phase of the City’s emergency assistance program focused on local restaurants and other establishments that provide food to the public due to the state order prohibiting seated dining. That grant program closed as of March 25. More than 80 applications were received; the City is reviewing and processing eligible applications as quickly as possible with several grant payments leaving City Hall already.

The City’s Emergency Operations Center remains activated. While City Hall is closed to the public the City continues to conduct core business and ensure that essential services are operational for the safety of the public. Regular updates to the community will be available on as well as the City’s social media channels.