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Lane County Small Businesses To Receive $2.4 Million In Grants



Relief is making its way to small businesses affected by the pandemic in Lane County by way of $2.4 million in grants from the State of Oregon. This is the seventh round of funding disbursed by the county and CommunityLending Works.


Altogether $8.2 million will have been granted to small businesses since March 2020 after this round. Lane County’s Community and Economic Development Manager Austin Ramirez said businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, or have been historically underserved have been prioritized in previous rounds, and that will remain the same in this round. This includes businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector, and minority owned businesses.

The availablility of COVID-19 vaccines, and Gov. Kate Brown's announcement on vaccinations and county risk levels has businessess seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, though support remains critical.


"While we're all excited for a return to normal businesses are continuuing to struggle, and continuuing to adapt to what this 'new normal' looks like," he said, "for us at Lane County we fully understand that a successful recovery, and the future health of our community relies on having small businesses open, operational, and in a place where they can thrive post-pandemic.”

Grants will go to businesses that were waitlisted from a previous round in January that saw around 1600 applicants, which amounted to a total need of about $24 million. Ramirez estimates the $2.4 million can serve between 110 to 130 businesses.


"It's a little humbling to just think about, while we will be able to help that many businesses there will still be over a thousand on the waitlist, we're certainly going to keep advocating for our business community and for future relief rounds," Ramirez said.



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Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.
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