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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Gilliam County offers stabilization funding to businesses

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$150,000 in emergency funding made available by Gilliam Co. Court

The Gilliam County Court has moved quickly to make funds available for businesses that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognizing that several businesses in the county could potentially never recover from a month of lost earnings or wait for state and federal assistance, the court moved to make $150,000 available in emergency grants to Gilliam County businesses.
The Gilliam County Court declared a County State of Emergency on March 18, which set the wheels in motion for such an endeavor.
After several businesses were forced to close or alter their operations, Gilliam County Court Judge Elizabeth Farrar and Commissioners Leslie Weatherell and Sherrie Wilkins moved to establish the stabilization program.
The Condon Chamber of Commerce was contracted to help manage applications and to distribute funds.
The Small Business Stabilization Committee was formed to help review applications and to make approvals of grants to businesses. The committee consists of representatives from the Condon Chamber, Gilliam County Court, the Bank of Eastern Oregon, Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative, City of Condon, City of Arlington, and the Small Business Development Center in The Dalles.
The Small Business Stabilization Committee determines applicant eligibility, reviews applications, seeks clarification when needed and ultimately makes funding decisions.
The grants provided through the Gilliam County Small Business Stabilization Program are intended to help businesses for a short period of time until they can access other funding that is being made available through the federal stimulus package that was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 27. The funding from Gilliam County is not intended to help businesses with long-term needs.
To understand what businesses were experiencing, several listening sessions with business owners were conducted by Judge Farrar, the Condon Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center in The Dalles.
On March 24, a conference call was convened by Judge Farrar to hear of struggles that businesses were facing and to provide information on state and federal assistance programs.
On April 1, Judge Farrar was joined by a staff person with the Small Businesses Development Center and provided an outline of the Gilliam County stabilization grant. The same day, a memorandum of agreement was signed by Judge Farrar and Condon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director K’Lynn Lane.
Grants are available to cover eligible business expenses such as employee payroll and benefit costs, building leases or mortgages (for brick-and-mortar businesses only), equipment lease payments, utilities, and business insurance. To be eligible, the applicant must operate within Gilliam County, be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations and fraternal organizations are eligible.
Applications can be found on the Condon Chamber of Commerce website.

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