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Resources for Businesses from Greater Portland

RESPONDING TO CORONAVIRUS: RESOURCES FOR GREATER PORTLAND BUSINESSES

    • This page provides information about resources for Greater Portland businesses affected by COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will update this page as new information becomes available. For health and safety information and guidance, please consult the Centers for Disease Control’s guide for business and employers, the League of Oregon Cities’ COVID page, the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID page or the Washington State Department of Health’s fact sheet. OHSU also has a coronavirus resource page.

      Table of contents
      Stigma
      Local Resources and Information
      State of Oregon Resources
      State of Washington Resources
      Federal and National Resources
      Webinars and Guides
      City and County Coronavirus and Economic Development Links

      COVID-19 Stigma
      According to Multnomah County department of health, some residents have experienced acts of racism and xenophobia, while some businesses have reported fewer customers because of the myths surrounding COVID-19. A person’s ethnicity, language or association with a country or region is not a risk factor for this virus. If you feel you have experienced or witnessed discrimination motivated by race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, we urge you to report it today. In Oregon, contact the Oregon Department of Justice by filing a report online or by calling 1-844-924-2427. In Washington, file a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission.

      Local Resources and Information

      Find a comprehensive list of links to city and county coronavirus pages at the bottom of this webpage.

      City of Portland

      • Prosper Portland (the city’s economic development arm) is partnering with APANO to provide $150,000 in grants to businesses with Asian/Pacific Islander ownership, particularly those within the Jade District (centered on Southeast 82nd Avenue and Division Street) and in Old Town Chinatown. Businesses can apply here.
      • Prosper Portland is prepared to offer a three-month deferral of loan payments to its existing borrowers who request it and whose business have experienced a decline in revenue of 10% or more. Prosper is prioritizng public-facing businesses with annual revenues under $1 million. Contact Prosper about your existing loan by emailing lending@prosperportland.us.
      • Prosper is also offering rent relief to its commercial tenants. For businesses that have experienced a decline in revenue of 10% or more, Prosper is prepared to provide a three-month deferral of rent payments for April, May and June 2020.
      • Find Prosper’s list of business resources here. Need help navigating or understanding these resources? Please call the City of Portland information line at 503-823-4000.
      • Sign up for Prosper’s COVID-19 email distribution list to stay informed about the latest resources.
      • The City of Portland has partnered with Grubhub to support local businesses. Grubhub is suspending collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants nationwide.Grubhub has also created a fund that will enable proceeds from its Donate the Change program to go toward charitable organizations that support restaurants and drivers impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. The program will allow diners to round up the change from every order and donate it to the Grubhub Community Relief Fund — with donations from Grubhub+ (and Seamless+) members matched by the company. Grubhub will work with local city officials to identify the organizations that can utilize the funds and to consider other support programs during the pandemic.

      City of Beaverton

      • The City of Beaverton and the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce have launched an Emergency Business Assistance Program to assist with commercial rental or mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility requirements include businesses with 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees in Beaverton affected by a mandatory change in service; businesses with an active Beaverton license; businesses with a lease or mortgage payment on the property; and business experiencing economic loss due to COVID-19. National chains are excluded. The program is in effect during the city’s declared state of emergency and while funds are available. Reimbursement grants of up to $2,500 per business are available for eligible businesses. Additional information and the application is available here.
      • Businesses are also invited to participate in a free webinar to discuss the state of Beaverton businesses, as well as share survey results and resources on Monday, March 23 at 1 p.m. The webinar is limited to the first 100 participants. Register here.

      City of Hillsboro

      • Starting Monday, March 23, Hillsboro business owners who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 health and economic crisis will be able to apply for assistance. The new resources include:
        • $500,000 in Emergency Business Support Grants — The city will provide grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses and entrepreneurs affected by the coronavirus and containment measures. To qualify, businesses must have a facility located in Hillsboro and a current Hillsboro busines license. Priority will be given to businesses with 10 employees or fewer; businesses that are a food and drink establishment, education or daycare facility, or businesses that rely on larger gatherings of people; and businesses that are open and operational, or are closed due to forced closure.
        • $500,000 in Emergency Loans for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses — The city is working to set up a low-interest loan program for small- and medium-sized businesses in need of financial support because of COVID-19 containment efforts and government directives for closure or operational curtailment. Details are still being finalized.
      • The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce is collecting donations for the city’s service workers via this virtual tip jar.

      Regional resources

      State of Oregon Resources

      • The Oregon Employment Department‘s COVID page offers information for workers, job-seekers and employers. Resources include:
        • Unemployment insurance benefits are available during temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 situations. These benefits occur for employees whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure, or by government requirement. Workers can get unemployment benefits, and do not need to seek work with other employers if their place of employment will resume operations. To receive benefits, affected workers must still be able to work, stay in contact with their employer, and be available to work when called back. Direct employees to file for benefits here.
        • Partial unemployment: The Work Share program helps employers prevent layoffs by reducing the schedules of workers instead of laying them off. It also provides benefits to help offset employees’ lost wages. ​Learn more here.
        • Rapid response in the event of permanent closure: ​The Higher Education Coordinating Commission has rapid response services to plan for job transitions needed when a business closure or mass layoff occurs, including cases of natural and other disasters. Local Rapid Response teams coordinate with employer, worker representative, Trade Act and Labor.
        • If the unemployment claim site is down, please direct your workers to call the agency’s contact centers, where Employment Department staff can help with starting a claim for unemployment benefits: 1-877-FILE-4-UI (1-877-345-3484)
      • From Worksystems, the nonprofit workforce organization serving Multnomah and Washington counties:
        • For businesses who are temporarily closing or laying off employees, contact the local Rapid Response Coordinator, Roland Chlapowski to report the layoff. For layoffs of more than 50 workers, businesses should contact the State Dislocated Worker Unit, John Asher, to file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the state. WARN Notices help trigger additional state and federal funding for our region that can be utilized in flexible ways to help people during this crisis.
      • Find an employer and worker FAQ on the Bureau of Labor and Industry‘s page.
      • Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, has published a list of resources, summarized here:
        • Business Finance Officer Tom Schnell put together this helpful guide that walks businesses through steps they can take to deal with coronavirus fallout, including managing cashflow, payments and guidance on long-term planning.
        • Contact your local Small Business Development Center for business assistance. Find their contact information here.
        • Consider purchasing business interruption insurance, available from many major insurance companies. Law firm Tonkon Torp breaks down the definition of interruption insurance here.
        • Financing, loans, loan guarantees, etc. Find a list on Business Oregon’s resources page.
        • Contact your regional development officer to locate more resources in your area. Find them here.
      • The Oregon Department of Revenue has guidance on tax payments:
        • Personal income taxes: At this time, taxpayers may still file an extension to file with the IRS, and the Oregon Department of Revenue will automatically grant an extension for the Oregon return. Learn more here.
        • Corporate activity tax: Initial quarterly payments for the new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) are due April 30, 2020. The department understands that the pandemic may impact commercial activity, up or down, to an extent that makes it difficult for businesses to estimate their first payment. The department will not assess underpayment penalties to taxpayers making a good faith effort to estimate their first quarter payments.
        • Other tax programs: If an action of the IRS or a state-declared emergency will impair the ability of Oregon taxpayers (or the state) to take action required within the time required by law, the department may extend any statutory period of limitation on any tax that is collected by the Oregon Department of Revenue. If the department makes such a decision, an order will be issued and announced, and filed with the Secretary of State.
      • The Oregon SBDC Network has developed an in-depth business adversity response plan, which provides guidance on creating a significant sales reduction plan, managing cash flow, developing a staffing plan, and applying for loans and relief programs. Questions about the guidelines? The PCC SBDC and Global Trade Center is available to assist you in assessing the appropriate actions for your business. Please contact  sbdc@pcc.edu for assistance.

      State of Washington Resources

      • Washington’s Employment Security Department has a number of programs for employers affected by COVID-19:
        • Partial unemployment: In place of laying off employees, the SharedWork program allows employers to reduce the hours of permanent and paid hourly employees by as much as 50 percent, and the employees can collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.
        • Temporary shutdown: If you need to shut down operations temporarily because an employee becomes sick and other employees need to be isolated or quarantined, your workers may be able to receive unemployment benefits and you may receive relief of benefit charges. You may request to place employees on standby for up to eight weeks and your employees can collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work.
        • Temporary layoffs: You may request to place an employee on standby for eight weeks and your employee can collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work. If on standby, workers must accept any work you offer that they can do without breaking isolation or quarantine.
        • Deferred tax penalties: Financial penalties may be waived for employers who file tax reports late, pay taxes late, or do not respond to requests for information in a timely fashion as a result of COVID-19.
      • Washington State Department of Revenue can work with impacted companies that request an extension on tax filing. Affected businesses that owe Washington taxes may qualify for the following assistance:
        • File for an extension for your excise tax return here
        • Request a late payment penalty waiver here
      • Gov. Inslee’s office has compiled this partial list of resources to support economic retention and recovery related to COVID-19 coronavirus.
      • Washington’s Small Business Development Center is offering a series of free webinars for business owners. Topics include “Keeping the lights on: Business Resiliency” and “Forms to fill out for SBA Disaster Loans.”
      • Up to $5 million of the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds will be made available as small grants to small businesses across the state to help prevent closure due to COVID-19. The state Department of Commerce will coordinate an application process. Read Gov. Inslee’s Wednesday announcement here.
      • The Association of Washington Businesses is hosting a webinar at 10 a.m. Monday, March 23, covering resources available to Washington businesses. Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration and multiple state agencies will be on the call. Learn more and register here.

      Federal and National Resources

      • IRS extends federal tax payment deadline:
        • Individuals: Income tax payment deadlines are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates. This extension is automatic; taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify.
        • Corporations: For C Corporations, income tax payment deadlines are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $10 million of their 2019 tax due.
        • This relief also includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020.
        • Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020. If you file your tax return or request an extension of time to file by April 15, 2020, you will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by July 15.
        • Note: The filing deadline for tax returns remains April 15, 2020. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible.
      • The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved both Oregon and Washington governors’ requests for a disaster declaration, unlocking low-interest disaster loans for small businesses in those states. Congress recently approved up to $7 billion in SBA disaster loans for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Learn more here and apply here.
      • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a social media toolkit with example posts and graphics for businesses responding to coronavirus.
      • Forbes has a list of refund and cancellation policies for airlines. The list is updated regularly.
      • Capital OneCiti and Wells Fargo have all issued statements indicating that they are willing to work with customers that experience financial difficulties.
        • Citi issued a statement that for 30 days, small business customers are eligible to have their monthly service fees waived. Citi is also waiving the fees on early CD withdrawals.
        • Wells Fargo donated $6.25 million in aid to help the public relief effort. The bank also encouraged customers that are experiencing financial hardship to contact customer service for assistance.
      • Comcast is offering free and expanded services over the next 60 days:
        • Free Xfinity WiFi hotspots for everyone: Find a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots here.
        • Unlimited data for customers: All customers will receive unlimited data for no additional charge.
        • No disconnects or late fees: Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact Comcast.
        • Internet Essentials free to new customers: Find more info here.
      • Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses. Sign up here to be notified when applications become available.

      Webinars and Guides

      • For companies with storefronts/commercial leases: Here is a template letter to ask your landlord for partial rent relief.
      • Chase has a free webinar for small businesses and will address preparing for and mitigating your business for different categories of risk, as well as positioning your business as a leader in times of crisis. Watch it here.
      • International law firm K&L Gates has created a hub for its many COVID-19 guides, including a series of webinars on crisis management and insurance coverage guidance, as well as guides on contracts and tax policy.
      • Miller Nash Graham & Dunn has a webinar outlining best practices for construction firms during the coronavirus outbreak.
      • Software company Fond has a 4-step guide for employers looking to ease the sudden shift to remote work.
      • Commercial real estate advisor Blake St. Onge and commercial real estate attorney Jeff Kapp, both Portlanders, have published a guide with recommendations on what to do with respect to real estate leases.

       City and County Coronavirus and Economic Development Links