To date, Benton County has invested nearly $400K in helping businesses and social service survive the first wave of COVID-19.
Small business funding: Kicking off the month of May, Benton County announced a small business loan fund coordinated by the Corvallis-Benton County Economic Development Office to assist businesses suffering economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund includes $100,000 from Benton County and $50,000 from Community Lending Works, a local nonprofit. Additionally, $45,000 of the fund was set aside for rural or minority-owned businesses.
Men’s shelter dollars: The Board voted to co-fund the Hygiene Center (formerly the Corvallis Men’s Cold Weather Shelter) for an additional 30 days. The $18,000 in combined funding from the City of Corvallis and Benton County allows the Hygiene Center to provide safe access to restrooms, hand washing, showers, and laundry for individuals experiencing homelessness until June 15.
Non-profit partnership: Just last week, the County announced a new emergency loan fund coordinated by the Benton Community Foundation to assist nonprofits suffering economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Benton Community Foundation received $100,000 from Benton County to support social service non-profits by the end of July. Grants will be distributed in Benton County and the immediate surrounding area over the next 1-6 months, providing for immediate and emerging needs as well as for the long-term financial stability of local nonprofits.
Direct county response: “As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on our local businesses, industries and economy, the Board felt it imperative to make proactive and substantial financial investments in our community,” said Pat Malone, Board Chair. “It was important to us to move quickly to support business and non-profits, and we are grateful for our partners for making these programs happen during this unprecedented time.”
Since the Joint Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activated on March 17, 2020, the County invested $175K towards the EOC’s response and recovery efforts.