Lane County and Community LendingWorks distribute $3.6 million in small business grants to 239 Lane County businesses

Lane County and Community LendingWorks distribute $3.6 million in small business grants to 239 Lane County businesses
Posted on 01/13/2021

Lane County and Community LendingWorks have notified 239 businesses that they are recipients of a collective $3.6 million in funding from the small business grants offered in December.


The funding was provided by the State of Oregon. Counties were notified of the funding at the end of November and were given through the end of 2020 to conduct an application process and select recipients.


In total, 26 percent of the funds will be distributed to rural businesses, 22 percent to Springfield businesses and 52 percent to Eugene businesses, which closely matches the geographical distribution of small businesses in Lane County.


“Local businesses are the lifeblood of our community,” said Lane County Community & Economic Development Manager Austin Ramirez. “Getting this money into the hands of business owners – and advocating for more – is incredibly important if we are going to help keep businesses open and people employed.”


Applications were available from December 3 through December 13 for local businesses with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees, as well as sole proprietors.


Recipients were selected in two rounds of random drawings. Selection was random in order to ensure businesses that submitted applications closer to the deadline were just as likely to be selected as others.


The first drawing for 75 percent of the overall funding was conducted among applications from businesses in the tourism, hospitality or event sectors, along with businesses closed as a result of the Governor’s ordered freezes (e.g., gyms, museums, sports courts, etc.), rural businesses or majority women-, disabled-, veteran-, or minority-owned businesses.


The remaining 25 percent of the funds were dispersed in the second random drawing that included all other eligible applicants, as well as those not selected in the first drawing.


The need is far greater than what local resources can address; nearly 1,600 businesses in Lane County requested more than $24 million in funding in this round of grants alone. Lane County will continue to advocate for more small business support and disperse any additional funding quickly and equitably.