Merkley, Wyden Announce $25 Million in CARES Act Business Support Grants Headed to Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced $25 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants are being distributed among thirteen organizations across Oregon, which will use the funds to offer loans to businesses to help them mitigate the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The grants, which total $25,268,000, were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed in March.

“Since this public health emergency began, I’ve been in regular contact with business owners and workers across Oregon about the serious economic consequences of the coronavirus,” said Merkley. “These Oregonians make invaluable contributions to our communities, and they are in urgent need of relief. These grants will provide them with critical support, and I will be fighting to ensure that upcoming coronavirus relief legislation puts the needs of working families and Main Street small businesses above the wish lists of America’s wealthiest corporations.”

“The economic fallout from this public health crisis has landed hard on small businesses and the hardworking people they employ across Oregon,” Wyden said. “I know from conversations by phone, Zoom, virtual town halls and more with Oregonians that these grants will provide much-needed help. It’s clear much more needs to be done in the upcoming COVID-19 package to support these key investments in communities statewide.”

“NEOEDD is excited to be able to offer additional loan funding for businesses in NE Oregon that was made possible through the CARES Act. We will be making new loans with an introductory period of zero percent interest and deferred payments possible through April of 2021. Our hope is that businesses will be able to capitalize on new opportunities or pivot their business models to become more profitable and resilient in the current economic and pandemic environment,” said Lisa Dawson, Executive Director, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District.

“COIC is very excited to receive this funding to help businesses across Central Oregon recover from the severe and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver much-needed financing to businesses that traditional bank financing may not be able to serve,” said Scott Aycock, Community and Economic Development Manager, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.

“GEODC appreciates the opportunity to support small businesses with affordable loan terms to rebuild our rural economy,” said Susan Christensen, Executive Director, Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation.

“MCEDD is grateful for these additional resources to support our revolving loan fund. As businesses seek to rebuild from this pandemic, we will have greater flexibility in meeting their lending needs,” said Jessica Metta, Executive Director, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District.

“Thanks to the support of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, and Congressman Peter DeFazio, Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG) was awarded $825,000.00 of CARES Act RLF funds by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). These funds will be distributed as small business loans, to help the regions’ small business community weather the impacts of the adverse economic conditions associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Ryan Vogt, Executive Director, Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments.

“This $1 million grant is critical to replenishing our Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), so we can continue helping COVID-impacted firms in Lane County keep their doors open. We’re grateful to Sen. Merkley and Sen. Wyden for their efforts in securing this funding in the CARES Act, and for their continued fight to get small business owners relief in the next federal relief bill,” said Brenda Wilson, Executive Director, Lane Council of Governments.


The grant recipients are as follows:

·        Oregon Business Development Department, Salem, Oregon, $11 million

·        Mid-Willamette Council of Governments, Salem, Oregon, $2.57 million

·        Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, Bend, Oregon, $2.2 million

·        CCD Business Development Corporation, Roseburg, Oregon, $1.5 million

·        Portland Development Commission, Portland, Oregon, $1.48 million

·        Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation, Pendleton, Oregon, $1.1 million

·        Lane Council of Governments, Eugene, Oregon, $1.1 million

·        Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, Enterprise, Oregon, $935,000

·        Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, The Dalles, Oregon, $847,000

·        Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, Albany, Oregon, $825,000

·        Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc., Medford, Oregon, $616,000

·        Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Dallas, Oregon, $550,000

·        South Central Oregon Economic Development District, Klamath Falls, Oregon, $550,000