Beaverton immediately recognized the negative impacts that COVID-19 would have on small businesses and was one of the first cities in Oregon to provide emergency business grants. Starting on Mar. 16, 2020, the city launched the first round of the Emergency Business Assistance Program to provide rental assistance to impacted businesses. Since then, three more rounds of funding have been provided in the form of grants to keep Beaverton’s small businesses in business and holding in to their storefront spaces. At the time of writing, the application period for another round of grants to small businesses had just closed, with more businesses expected to be notified about grants in the coming weeks.
As of November 2020, 472 businesses have received $2.8 million in emergency grants to cover business rent expenses, plus other operating expenses like payroll, utilities and personal protective equipment. Grants of up to $10,000 were awarded to small businesses, with the average grant award across all programs at $3,653. Grant amounts were based on the size of business and each business’s monthly operating expenses. While each funding round was slightly different, the grants have overwhelmingly supported small storefront businesses most impacted by COVID-19, such as restaurants, retailers, indoor fitness and personal care businesses. The grant funding was distributed to businesses throughout Beaverton, and 66 percent of grantees are business owners of color. Additionally, more than 50 percent of these grants went to businesses owned by women. We are proud that we have been able to leverage the city’s initial funding from the General Fund with federal CARES Act funding from Washington County and the State of Oregon.