BEAVERTON, Ore. — The city of Beaverton is offering pandemic relief money to businesses that have less than 25 employees. The city's budget for the grant is about $1.8 million and the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. The grants are meant to help businesses pay for things like utilities, inventory and rent.
The businesses must verify they are still losing money because of the pandemic. The city will decide how much money each business receives. The funding is primarily for restaurants, salons, gyms and retail stores.
Michael Williams, the economic development manager for Beaverton, said these grants are crucial.
"If we can provide a month or two of rent to a business that's really struggling, it can find a way to stay open for two to three more months," Williams said. "We are just trying to find a way to get through the pandemic."
Lauren Reese and her husband own Lionheart Coffee Company in Beaverton. She said they applied for the grant as soon as the applications opened.
"Last month we spent $700 on rapid tests," Reese said. "We just have so many more and different expenses than we've ever had."
Reese said the past two years have been tough and these grants make a huge difference.
"I think for a lot of people, this will be the difference of staying open or closing in the next couple of months," Reese said.
Businesses can apply for money from the grant at the cities' website. The deadline to apply is Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.