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Hillsboro Increases Emergency Grant Funding for Small Businesses to $1 Million
Applications will reopen on Tuesday, April 7, from 9 am to 4 pm
Small businesses can apply to receive up to $3,000 in emergency grant funding on Tuesday, April 7, between 9 am and 4 pm.
Small businesses in the City of Hillsboro can apply to receive up to $3,000 in emergency grant funding during a second round of applications on Tuesday, April 7, between 9 am and 4 pm on our COVID-19 Business Resources webpage.
City of Hillsboro staff will be available by phone at 503-681-5260, in English and Spanish, to assist business owners and entrepreneurs who need help. The online applications will also be available in English and Spanish, as they were during the first round of applications in March. The emergency support will help small businesses offset some of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify, businesses must be located inside Hillsboro city limits and have an active business license from the City of Hillsboro prior to applying. All business license fees are being waived at this time. Priority will be given to businesses that have been impacted by the executive orders issued by the Governor of Oregon, including but not limited to: food and drink establishments, arcades, art galleries, barber shops and hair salons, bowling alleys, gyms and fitness studios, furniture stores, jewelry shops and boutiques, medical spas, facial spas, day spas, non-medical massage therapy services, museums, nail and tanning salons, theaters, yoga studios, small medical offices, education and daycare facilities, and businesses that rely on larger gatherings of people.
Overwhelming demand leads to doubling of emergency grant funding
The City of Hillsboro doubled the emergency grant funding available for small businesses and entrepreneurs from $500,000 to $1 million in response to the overwhelming number of requests in March.
“Within the first hours of the emergency grant applications in March, we received more than $1 million in requests from Hillsboro small business owners — more than twice the amount available,” said City Manager Robby Hammond. “After that, we initiated several steps to help as many Hillsboro businesses as possible.
“First, we reduced the maximum award to $3,000 to spread the emergency funding to more small businesses. Then, we searched for additional funding that could be redirected to increase the total amount of emergency grants. Now, we are working to get the word out to all small businesses in Hillsboro about the second round of funding so they can apply while it is available.”
More than $440,000 awarded to Hillsboro small businesses so farAlready, the City of Hillsboro has selected 177 small businesses to receive a total of $448,000 in emergency funding from among the 238 small businesses that applied during the first round on Monday, March 23. Those businesses are being notified by email and standard mail this week.
To increase the number of businesses and entrepreneurs that received assistance, the grant awards were capped at $3,000 for small businesses and $1,500 for single employee businesses and sole proprietors. The $52,000 remaining from the first round of applications will be added to the second round for a total of $552,000 in available grant funding.
Grant applications are being reviewed by a panel of community partners, including the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, Centro de Prosperidad, and the City of Hillsboro. Businesses selected in the first round of applications are not eligible to apply for additional funding. Businesses that were not selected in the first round can reapply.
“Our City Council, and our City as a whole, prioritizes our support of small businesses,” said Mayor Steve Callaway. “Across the country and here at home, our small businesses are hurting right now. We all see it. From Councilor Rick Van Beveren, whose restaurant, Reedville Café, employs dozens of people; to Councilor Beach Pace, whose nonprofit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest, relies on support from small businesses and donors; we all understand the need is great, and we are working to help as many small businesses and community members as we can.”
Funding for the $1 million in small business grants comes from community services fees previously paid by businesses participating in Hillsboro’s Enterprise Zone, as well as revenues previously generated by businesses participating in Oregon’s Strategic Investment Program, or SIP.
A diverse mix of Hillsboro small business grant recipients
Among the 177 small businesses selected to receive emergency grant funding from the City of Hillsboro, 74% self-identified as either minority-, woman-, and/or veteran-owned.
- 60 businesses self-identified as minority-owned
- 97 businesses self-identified as woman-owned
- 8 businesses self-identified as veteran-owned
The vast majority of small businesses selected indicated they would use the emergency grant funding for rent assistance (81%) and operational support (74%). The complete list of businesses awarded grant funding will be released as early as next week, after all businesses have been verified.
“The COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of having a diverse economic base consisting of businesses of all sizes and from a variety of market sectors and industries,” said Economic and Community Development Director Dan Dias in March. “Hillsboro has been able to build a strong economic base throughout the community’s history. It is a strong reminder of why Hillsboro continues to prioritize economic development policies and programs in order to benefit the entire community.”
Loan program development continues
Based on the overwhelming demand for small business emergency grants and the City’s desire to fund as many businesses possible, $250,000 in funds previously designated for business loans are being shifted toward the grant program.
The City will continue to pursue a loan program, but the details of such a process requires considerable work to implement a system to distribute funds and collect future payments from loan recipients. At this time, the City recommends businesses interested in immediate loan opportunities pursue one of the emergency loan programs available through the federal government.
The Small Business Association has announced it will provide emergency grants for small businesses, as well as new loans to small businesses. Read more on the City’s COVID-19 Business Resources webpage.
Grant application instructions for small businesses
- Visit our COVID-19 Business Resources webpage on Tuesday, April 7, from 9 am to 4 pm, to apply for an emergency small business grant of up to $3,000.
- City of Hillsboro staff will be available by phone at 503-681-5260 to assist small businesses and those who would like help filling out the online application in English or Spanish.
- Grant funds will only be awarded to businesses located within Hillsboro city limits with an active business license from the City of Hillsboro.
**The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce is supporting service industry workers with the Hillsboro Virtual Tip Jar. Visit the Chamber's webpage to help local service industry staff.