PORTLAND, Ore. — From coffee shops and bakeries to restaurants and breweries, small business owners across Oregon have been paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down their small operations.
Many businesses laid off all of their employees, while others are working with skeleton crews to maintain a take-out mode of business, the last option for many restaurants and bars to remain open.
Friday, the Oregon congressional delegation announced their letter to the Small Business Administration designating Oregon as an economic disaster has been approved.
The SBA's injury disaster low-interest loans can help small businesses, private nonprofit organizations, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises across the country facing closures and layoffs.
Businesses can qualify for loans up to $2 million. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75 for private nonprofit organizations. Loans are available with long-term repayments up to 30 years.
“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said.
Portions of Oregon counties adjacent to the Washington border have already been eligible for the loans, but now every county of Oregon is included.
“I have heard the fear and anxiety from small business owners throughout the state who have been impacted by COVID-19,” Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a press release. “I encourage small business owners throughout the state to apply for these loans. Know this: I will continue to fight for the resources we need to combat coronavirus, and recover from this crisis.”
If you're interested in applying, click here - but keep in mind, as of Friday afternoon, the website was extremely slow to respond, likely because of high demand.
You can also call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.