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Aid available for businesses hurt by COVID-19

Jackson County businesses hurt by COVID-19 can start applying for aid from a $2.4 million pool allocated for the county.

Businesses with up to 100 employees are eligible. They have to be headquartered in and have their principal operations in the county.

The Southern Oregon CARES Business Grant application period opened at noon Friday in Jackson County.

Applications will be accepted until the money runs out, or at noon Dec. 29, whichever comes first.

Eligibility information and grant applications are available at soredi.org/socares/.

“This is a significantly large allocation for grant funding with priority given to the entertainment and hospitality sector impacted by the governor’s recent ‘freeze’ mandate,” said Colleen Padilla, executive director for Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc.

SOREDI is administering the grant program for both Jackson and Josephine counties. The aid pool for Josephine County businesses is $1.2 million. The application period in Josephine County opens at noon Saturday.

Padilla said the funding for Jackson and Josephine counties will help local businesses and workers, and is critical for the region’s economy during a difficult time.

Preference will be given to businesses that had to close in November due to spiking COVID-19 cases.

Tight restrictions remain in effect for Oregon counties on the state’s extreme risk list, which includes Jackson and Josephine counties.

Indoor gyms, fitness centers, theaters and museums have had to close completely.

Indoor dining at restaurants, bars and breweries is banned, leaving outdoor dining and takeout as the options left for businesses trying to survive.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, stores, shopping centers and malls are limited to 50% of capacity, with curbside pick-up encouraged.

In total, 25 of Oregon’s 36 counties are in the extreme risk category.

Statewide, $55 million is being allocated by the state.

Nonprofits can also apply for the business aid.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

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