By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Third round of business relief grants approved

Yamhill County commissioners held a special meeting Tuesday to approve the distribution of state grant funds to county businesses impacted by the shutdowns Governor Kate Brown ordered to prevent wider spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The county had a little more than $1.4 million to spend on its third round of business relief grants, and added $468 of county money to make the 144 grants it approved work out to an even $10,000 each, County Administrator Ken Huffer said.

The county created three tiers for the grants, with those businesses forced to shut down altogether by the governor’s most recent executive order given top priority.

County Grants and Special Projects Manager Carrie Martin said all 20 of the eligible applicants for that money were funded, and the county then turned to the second tier; businesses who have seen significant economic damage, but didn’t have to close entirely.

There was a third tier, Martin said, but the money ran out in the second tier. The county was able to fund 124 of the 157 eligible second-tier applications, she said. 
Businesses receiving funds in the county’s previous round of relief funds in November were not eligible to apply this time.

The grants were distributed to businesses throughout the county.

On Monday, the state Legislature approved an $800 million relief package for Oregonians, as well. It will extend an eviction moratorium to July 1, while also creating a compensation fund for landlords affected by the lack of rental income, and rental assistance for tenants. The $150 million compensation package allows landlords to apply for up to 80% of their lost rental income, but they must forgive the remaining 20%.

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