Over $1.25 Million in CARES Act Business Aid Available

The Corvallis-Benton County Economic Development Office, in partnership with Community LendingWorks, will be distributing more than $1.25 million in business assistance to small businesses in Corvallis and Benton County. The funding is part of $55 million in federal CARES Act money provided to Oregon for the purpose of providing financial assistance to small businesses affected by economic conditions as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The funds were allocated to counties to deploy as grants to small businesses that have been financially impacted, with a priority for businesses in the hospitality industry, businesses impacted by the shutdown and/or the freeze, rural businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, and women, Black, indigenous, people of color, and Tribal-owned businesses. 

Grant amounts vary depending on the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE): $7,500 for sole proprietors, $15,000 for 1-5 FTE, $20,000 for 6-15 FTE, and $25,000 for 16-25 FTE. The Benton County COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program will begin accepting applications on Friday, December 4. The application period will remain open until Sunday, Dec. 13 at midnight. 

Funds will then be disbursed via a two-phase lottery until depleted. The first lottery will be conducted with priority for the businesses as identified by the governor’s office. The second lottery will be conducted for all businesses other than those identified by the governor, and any that were not selected in the first lottery. Selected businesses will be notified immediately, and funding will commence as early as Jan. 2. 

A full outline of the program can be found at www.yescorvallis.org/resources and the application can be found here. See below for eligibility. Online applications only. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

General Eligibility 

  • Businesses who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions by demonstrating a one-month decline in sales of 25% or more, incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020, as compared against the same period of time in 2019.
  • Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees as of Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Be headquartered within Benton County. Benton County businesses located within the Albany city limits (North Albany) may apply.
  • Businesses who have received federal or state dollars, through the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Business Oregon, or local Benton County grants are able to receive these grant funds.
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofits are eligible.
  • Federal and state taxes must be current (no extensions, no payment plans)

The following businesses are ineligible to apply for or receive funding under the program: 

  • Businesses that opened in 2020. (There may be future funding opportunities for businesses that opened in 2020. Email economic.development@corvallisoregon.gov to learn more.)
  • Passive real estate holding companies and entities holding passive investments.
  • Nonprofit entities that do not have federal 501(c)(3) status.
  • Businesses that experience a decline in revenues for reasons other than those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. seasonal or cyclical businesses cycles).
  • Businesses that are delinquent on federal, state or local taxes that were due on or before the date of application.
  • Businesses that do not comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations. 
  • Businesses that have closed and do not intend to reopen.

If you have questions about the program, feel free to contact the Economic Development Office at economic.development@corvallisoregon.gov, or via phone 541-766-6422. Visit www.yescorvallis.org/resources for additional information and resources.