$1.5 million will help immigrant-owned Oregon businesses impacted by the pandemic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 22, 2022
Statewide Release – The Oregon Small Enterprise Fund (SEF) — a fund that is administered through Oregon Worker Relief (OWR), will reopen Tuesday, February 22 to provide a one-time relief grant to Oregon businesses who have been excluded from federal relief assistance programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program due to the owners’ immigration status.
The reopening of the SEF was made possible in part by a contribution from the City of Portland to Oregon Worker Relief (OWR). The fund has $1.5 million available in one-time grants to eligible micro, very small and small businesses impacted by COVID-19 or the related health and safety restrictions. Immigrant-owned businesses are vital to the well-being of Oregon’s economy. Oregon is home to 29,857 immigrant business owners accounted for 11 percent of all self-employed Oregon residents in 2018 and generated $766.4 million in business income.
The one-time grants range between $7,000 to $25,000 per business. To be eligible for this grant, small business owners will have to meet the following requirements:
Be owned by an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) holder or similar
Be a for-profit business operating in Oregon
Not have received federal funds from the Paycheck Protection Program or have been impaired in applying for benefits from traditional sources
Be a business that has suffered a negative impact caused by the pandemic or related public health orders, such as a decline in revenue, loss of opportunities, or similar negative impacts
Still be active and plan to remain open
“The Small Enterprise Fund has been critical to helping immigrant small business owners and their families stay afloat during the pandemic. The additional funding is a step towards a more equitable solution that includes all Oregonian business owners,” said Jenny Pool Radway, Executive Director of Causa.
“The SEF has already helped about 746 Oregon businesses and distributed over $9 million throughout Oregon. With these additional funds, many more migrant-owned Oregon businesses will be able to receive the help they desperately need to continue with their businesses during this pandemic,” stated Andrea Gonzalez, Program Manager Innovation Law Lab.
Call center agents have already begun contacting those who have been on the fund’s waitlist since it first opened back in March 2021. The SEF will begin taking new applications on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Eligible immigrant-owned small businesses owners will need to call 1-888-274-7292 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to apply for the fund.
About Oregon Worker Relief:
Oregon Worker Relief is a non-profit organization designed and implemented by directly-impacted communities and more than 100 community based organizations. To date, the organization has efficiently and effectively distributed over $90 million in pandemic relief to immigrant Oregonians excluded from federal safety net programs based on immigration status. OWR’s Small Enterprise Fund provides relief to micro, very small and small businesses in the state, and its Quarantine Fund offers financial support to undocumented workers who must quarantine due to COVID-19.