Benton County Risk & Protection Framework Status: High Risk
High Risk level activities will remain in effect through April 8 with a potential risk level change occurring on Friday, April 9.
Available Small Business Grants & Resources
Microenterprise CDBG City of Corvallis Grant – (En español) Available to for-profit businesses who employ low-to-moderate income workers, have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 public health restrictions in 2020 and continuing into 2021, and are located within the City Limits of Corvallis.
Grants will be awarded as follows: Sole Proprietors – $5,000; Microenterprises (5 or fewer FTE, including owner) – $10,000; Small Businesses (6+ FTE) – $2,500 per FTE up to $25,000
CDBG has many nuances to the program, so to make things easier, Community LendingWorks has created an initial pre-screening questionnaire to assist with the qualification process >>
Additional funding for businesses located in Benton County, outside of the Corvallis city limits is forthcoming. Interested businesses are encouraged to notify the Corvallis-Benton County Economic Development Office of their interest and join the waitlist.
Sidewalk Café Grant Program – The City is offering a temporary grant program to fund the 2021 sidewalk café fees. The business owner will still be required to apply for the sidewalk café permit to operate, however, the fees for 2021 can be funded through the grant if the City receives a grant application and approves the café permit. Submit this grant application with your sidewalk café application. The sidewalk café permit for the 2021 café season runs through December 2021.
Small Enterprise Fund for Immigrant Businesses – The Small Enterprise Fund/Fondo para Microempresas is now open to provide relief to Oregon businesses who have been impacted by the pandemic but have been excluded from federal relief assistance programs due to owners’ immigration status. The business owner must have an ITIN, DACA, TPS, or something similar. The Fund has $10 million available to provide one-time grants between $7,000 and $25,000 to small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. (En español)
Business Right-of-Way (BROW) Permit Program – Restaurant, retail, and service businesses are eligible to use up to four parking spaces adjacent to their business for outdoor seating, queuing or shopping areas. Non-adjacent spaces in Municipal parking lots may be approved if the business applies to use a tent. Businesses are required to provide any fencing, barricades, or outdoor furniture to delineate the areas approved for outdoor use. Fencing items may be left out overnight. When used for outdoor dining, alcohol may be served per Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) license agreements. Application materials and related info can be found here.
Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities, including an additional shipment of PPE coming soon!
Plans for future vaccine clinics are underway, and dependent upon the availability of the vaccine. Individuals who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can schedule their vaccination appointment here >>
Don’t know if you are eligible or not? Click here to access the eligibility tool to find out.
Please note, the vaccine for COVID-19 is not currently available for the general public. Benton County Health Department will prioritize submissions following OHA criteria, then send a scheduler link with instructions to schedule appointments for both the first and second dose.
How To Stay Safe & Support Benton County Businesses
Our office, and local partners, like the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Corvallis Association, Visit Corvallis, Philomath Chamber of Commerce, Business Association of Monroe, Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and Corvallis Business Network are closely monitoring all recommendations and updates from the Oregon Governor’s Office, and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We are prioritizing appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We know that everyone is doing their part to stay safe. At the same time, we encourage you to remember our many businesses throughout the region and continue to support them even if you cannot visit them physically.
Many local businesses are taking the extra steps necessary to ensure their spaces are clean & safe for customers. Follow public health guidelines (as outlined in the links above) regarding social distancing and proper health etiquette when visiting businesses and public spaces.
If you are not able to visit stores and restaurants physically, there are many things you can still do to support local business, including, but not limited to:
- Shop online or via phone. Many retailers have online shopping available.
- Purchase custom or corporate gifts from retailers who can handle orders over the phone or online.
- If you typically order wholesale products with local retailers later in the year, place your orders now, if you can.
- If you do not need anything specific, but still want to support a business or restaurant, buy gift cards to spend later.
- For restaurants, order takeout or delivery and tip the same amount as you would dining in.
- Share, like, and leave reviews for your favorite local businesses on their Facebook, Yelp, or Google profiles.
First and foremost, take health and safety precautions for yourself and others in our community. The vibrancy of our community depends on all of us working together and supporting the many businesses that keep our region thriving. (credit: Portland Business Alliance)
Shop/Support Local Business
- Corvallis Savings Pass– Visit Corvallis has developed an online savings passport that we are promoting to out-of-town travelers, visiting groups and locals alike! This mobile-exclusive savings passport features Corvallis businesses and there is no cost to you to participate in the program. Check out who is already participating >>
- IOU Corvallis – A community-sourced fund that provides meals for folks who need a boost, business to restaurants, and security to our friends and neighbors. IOU Corvallis is back up and running during the two-week freeze!
- Built Oregon Marketplace – Give the gift of Oregon. Oregon makers, growers and producers with shelf-stable products can sign up to sell on this online platform. Built Oregon works to support and accelerate the founders and companies through the state, and create inclusive opportunities to the next generation of entrepreneurs. You can sign your business up for the platform here >>
- Oregon2Go – a free online resource and marketing opportunity for restaurants to market their takeout and delivery options.
Loan & Grant Opportunities
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – The PPP provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA is currently offering:
- Shuttered Venues Operators (SVO) Grant – Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. The application is slated to open on April 8.
- COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program – The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program is available to people who need to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19 exposure or are experiencing symptoms and need a medical diagnosis, but do not qualify for COVID-19-related paid sick leave (or do not have access to COVID-19-related paid time off). See if you are eligible, or apply here.
- Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments Business Lending – New loans available to assist your business in responding to and recovering from COVID-19.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – SBA is currently accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. Apply now >>
- SBA Disaster Loan Assistance – SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
Local, State & Federal Announcements & Resources
- City of Corvallis COVID-19 Related Closures & Announcements – find the most recent public information available from the City of Corvallis.
- Benton County Health Department – Daily updates and recommendations on COVID-19 in Benton County
- Small Business Resource Navigator – Business Oregon, alongside the Oregon Employment Department, the Oregon Secretary of State, and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services compiled the below information to assist Oregon small businesses dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.
- Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) – In May of 2019, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3427. The legislation aims to establish a “Fund for Student Success” that is separate and distinct from the general fund and will be used for education spending. It is in addition to the state’s current corporate income tax. The CAT is applied to taxable Oregon commercial activity in excess of $1 million. The tax is computed as $250 plus 0.57 percent of taxable Oregon commercial activity of more than $1 million. Only taxpayers with more than $1 million of taxable Oregon commercial activity will have a payment obligation.
Key 2021 dates for the tax are:
- April 15—Last day to file CAT return without an extension or apply for an extension for filing a CAT return.
- April 30—First quarter 2021 CAT estimated payments due.
- August 2—Second quarter 2021 CAT estimated payments due.
- October 15—Last day to file 2020 CAT return with an extension.
- November 1—Third quarter 2021 CAT estimated payments due.
- February 1, 2022—Fourth quarter 2021 CAT estimated payments due.
CAT forms can be found on the Department of Revenue website forms page by scrolling down to Corporate Activity Tax or entering Corporate Activity Tax in the search block.
COVID-19 Support, Tips & Best Practices
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Sources – A list of PPE manufacturers or distributors Business Oregon has collected that may be helpful for Oregon small businesses to source from as they ready to reopen. These companies have provided the information to Business Oregon, but we have not independently verified company capabilities or inventories. Understand also inventories will certainly fluctuate.
- COVID-19 Resources for Businesses – Business Oregon, alongside the Oregon Employment Department, the Oregon Secretary of State, and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services compiled the information on this page to assist Oregon small business owners, employees, and others dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.
- Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association Safety Checklist– checklists providing safety strategies and protocols for restaurants and lodging properties
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Best Practices for Business – Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Business Oregon COVID-19 Resources for Business – Resources for Oregon businesses looking for assistance in the event of local, regional, or statewide economic impacts due to identified disasters.
- Business Oregon Business Survival Tips – tips for business survival during a pandemic. Find Spanish translation here.
- Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) Support for Oregon Manufacturers – OMEP announced new resources to support Oregon manufacturers who face challenges associated with Covid-19.
- If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.’
- Reopen Main Street: Resources & Ideas for Reopening – Reopen Main Street has compiled a variety of resources on its website, including potential reopening strategies, ideas, hints and tips for businesses, business districts and organizations as they enter the COVID-19 recovery phase.
Enter your email address to receive all news, updates on new arrivals, special offers and other discount information