The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) and a host of regional partners have come together to create an emergency grant fund for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the economic downturn caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

COIC combined contributions from Deschutes County ($100,000), Crook County ($10,000), the City of Madras ($25,000), Jefferson County ($18,250) and the Warm Springs Community Action Team ($15,000) to leverage an additional $517,500 from the State of Oregon, for a total program of $685,750, available to sole proprietors, small businesses, and nonprofits across the region.

Some of the local matching funds were originally provided by grants from the Oregon Community Foundation.

Eligible businesses and nonprofits can receive from $2,500 to $25,000 in grant funds, depending on number of employees and other factors. A complete list of program guidelines and a link to the application can be found at www.coic.org/grant/.

The grant program will close Monday, July 20. In order to be eligible, businesses and nonprofits must have 25 or fewer employees as of February 29, 2020. Eligible applicants must have been either categorically closed by Governor of Oregon’s Executive Order No. 20-12 (https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Documents/executive_orders/eo_20-12.pdf) or able to demonstrate a loss of at least 50 percent of revenue in March or April 2020. Eligible applicants may not have received federal CARES Act funding, must be headquartered in the region, and cannot owe local, state, or federal taxes. Nonprofit applicants must be organized as a 501(c)(3) and in good standing at the time of their application.

The program has a special emphasis on sole proprietorship businesses, with a commitment to award 50 percent of total funding to them. They often received less emergency funding support than other businesses to date.

“Our region’s economy relies heavily on the hard work of small business owners, and our communities rely on our nonprofits,” said Tammy Baney, COIC executive director. “This grant fund is meant to fill an immediate need for these critical institutions.”

The program is funded in part by the State of Oregon General Funds and Lottery Funds administered by the Oregon Business Development Department.