Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund Grantmaking in Action

Oregon’s workers and small businesses are facing unprecedented economic disruption. The Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund was established to bring some relief. Seeded with a $300,000 investment from OCF in March 2020 and bolstered by donor support, the fund provided $2.6 million in emergency capital to help nonprofit community organizations serving small businesses in both urban and rural communities. The grants increased these lenders’ capacity to offer emergency grants, low-interest and no-interest loans and technical assistance to small businesses dealing with reduced sales and revenue.

Generous community partners supported this fund, including: Amazon, Bank of America, Columbia Bank, Comcast, JP Morgan Chase, Key Bank, Johnson Family Foundation, Lemelson Foundation, NW Natural, OCF donor advised funds, Portland General Electric, The Ford Family Foundation, Tillamook County Creamery, Umpqua Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Funding is provided in part by the Oregon State Lottery and administered by the Oregon Growth Board. Grants from Oregon Small Business Stabilization fund include:

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians - Economic Development Corporation (ATNI-EDC) provides financial and technical assistance to 57 ATNI member tribes in the priority areas of community and economic development. ATNI-EDC operates a Native community development financial institution (CDFI) and has provided around $3 million in loans to Native businesses. As a result of unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Native businesses are experiencing tremendous hardship. ATNI-EDC is working to ensure that Native-owned businesses survive, working with other Native CDFIs and loan providers to ensure that each entrepreneur in the ATNI region has access to loans. An Oregon Small Business Stabilization Grant supports ATNI-EDC direct loan capital, operations support and program support.

Black Investment Corporation for Economic Progress (BICEP) is a group of African American professionals who envision a plan for more socially responsible commercial development and revitalization in North and Northeast Portland. The group has seen a massive increase in the number of Black and Latinx business owners who have run out of operating funds and/or have struggled to take their businesses digital. This, combined with the existing gaps in access to capital from traditional sources like banks and the Small Business Administration, has left business owners feeling alone and on the brink of closure. BICEP has engaged with more than 1,500 business owners since March 15 and is at capacity. An Oregon Small Business Stabilization Grant will be re-deployed as small grants to business owners. Funds will also support one to two limited duration employees to continue to create online programming and support to business owners.

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) is a community-based organization working to empower children, youth, families and elders from around the world to build new lives and become self-sufficient by providing more than 200 culturally and linguistically specific social services. With limited technical assistance to access English-language financial assistance resources and small grant programs, immigrant and refugee small businesses are lagging or rapidly closing while their U.S. born competitors are innovating in digital marketing technologies and remote/delivery services. IRCO is using an Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund Grant to enhance existing efforts to provide small business grants to immigrant/refugee entrepreneurs, who have been inequitably excluded from mainstream COVID-19 financial assistance.

Klamath IDEA is committed to developing a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Central Oregon to strengthen existing small businesses and support the emergence of new ones by providing easy access to help and information. An Oregon Small Business Stabilization Grant funds programmatic staff to implement and support online tools to map the ecosystem of entrepreneurial support and provide “concierge” service to entrepreneurs, helping them access all available resources.

Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA) works to enhance the diverse strengths of youth and families in partnership with community through cultural identity and education. NAYA serves self-identified Native Americans, infant to elder, from across the Portland Metro region. NAYA’s economic development team works with our Native community to show participants a model for rising out of poverty. NAYA staff support Native entrepreneurs from the startup phase into successful and sustainable businesses. NAYA is facing an unanticipated need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic: many of the Native-owned businesses and those operating in the Cully neighborhood of Portland have not been able to access funds from the Federal relief programs. NAYA is using an Oregon Small Business Stabilization Grant to provide direct client assistance in the form of grants to Native-owned and Cully based small businesses so they can financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon’s Economic Development Districts work to provide effective, efficient delivery of economic development services. Districts operate regionally, forging strategies, solutions and partnerships which are not feasible for a single local jurisdiction to implement. Oregon's Economic Development Districts manage and deliver an abundance of federal and state programs based on local needs and priorities. Districts funded by Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund grants include: Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District, Coos Curry Douglas Business Corporation, Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, South Central Oregon Economic Development District and Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. OCF grants enabled EDDs to deploy grants and loans to small businesses in their regions and assist with operating support.

Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT) serves 5,000 tribal members with programs supporting individual, family and small business savings, financial education, and economic development. Warm Springs Reservation is a geographically isolated, asset-poor, poverty-stricken community, especially vulnerable to COVID-19, with 40% of the population under age 19. The pre-COVID reservation poverty rate was 27.8%, double that of Oregon, with per capita income of $11,585 and 55-65% unemployment. Funding provides critical organizational resources to ensure that WSCAT can continue serving the Warm Springs Community with essential economic supports critical to resilience during and beyond the immediate COVID 19 crisis. Specifically, it allows five staff members to work productively from home with technology they could not otherwise afford, and supports programs, bookkeeping, and reporting functions to ensure a sound fiscal footing for WSCAT programs vital to family survival.

Here's a list of all Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund grants. This list does not reflect all support provided by OCF donor advised funds and other OCF pooled funds that aimed to improve Oregon’s economic vitality, in addition to the Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund. 

  • Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation, Statewide ($102,000)
  • Black Investment Corporation for Economic Progress (Built Oregon), Metro Portland ($50,000)
  • Coos Curry Douglas Business Development Corporation, South Coast ($60,000)
  • Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, Central Oregon ($212,500)
  • Columbia Pacific Economic Development District, North Coast ($50,000)
  • Community LendingWorks, Southern Willamette Valley ($310,000)
  • Craft3, Statewide ($310,000)
  • Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation, Eastern Oregon ($50,000)
  • Greater Portland Partnership for Economic Advancement, Metro Portland ($100,000)
  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Metro Portland ($22,505)
  • Klamath Community College Foundation Inc. dba Klamath IDEA, Southern Oregon ($25,000)
  • Latino Business Alliance, Northern Willamette Valley ($10,000)
  • Launch Pad Baker, Eastern Oregon ($20,000)
  • Mercy Corps, Metro Portland ($170,000)
  • Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon, Metro Portland ($370,000)
  • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, Metro Portland ($50,000)
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, Northern Willamette Valley ($50,000)
  • Native American Youth & Family Center, Metro Portland ($94,007)
  • Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, Eastern Oregon ($50,000)
  • Oregon Native American Chamber, Statewide ($35,000)
  • Point West Credit Union (Northwest Credit Union Foundation), Metro Portland ($100,000)
  • Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Eastern Oregon ($50,000)
  • Seattle Economic Development Fund dba Business Impact NW, statewide ($25,000)
  • South Central Oregon Economic Development District, Southern Oregon ($60,000)
  • Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (CCD Business Development Corporation), Southern Oregon ($50,850)
  • Warm Springs Community Action Team, Central Oregon ($50,000)
  • XXcelerate, Metro Portland ($30,000)

Total: $2.6 million