During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon city officials have shifted their economic development efforts from attracting businesses to keeping the ones they have.
Six Oregon businesses are working to acquire grants up to $25,000 each from the state through the city. The Downstate Small Business Stabilization application is funded by Community Development Block Grant funds.
The businesses include Hector’s Cocina, Father & Son Pizzeria, Franklin Street Pub, Hagemann Enterprises, Joanne’s Total Image Salon & Spa and Fischers, Inc.
“Cities can apply and take the money and allocate it to businesses,” Oregon Mayor Ken Williams said. “There’s a formula for it and businesses fill out the forms. It’s fairly paper-intensive but it’s been working pretty well.”
The grants come at no cost to the city. The businesses wouldn’t have to pay back any of the money.
A public hearing will be held on the application on May 12 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom and at city hall. The city council has to approve the application as a resolution before it can be submitted.
Dixon is another city that has worked to apply for CDBG funds for its businesses. Williams said that other cities have applied multiple times with different sets of businesses and that this may not be the only application that Oregon submits.
“We’re glad to be able to help the businesses,” Williams said. “Our economy, especially in the downtown, is service-oriented. We want to make sure they make it through this.”