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Fire recovery grants available for Rogue Valley businesses

Andy Atkinson/Mail Tribune Puck’s Donuts in Phoenix is rebuilding after the business was destroyed by the 2020 Almeda fire. Grants are available to help Rogue Valley businesses harmed by 2020 fires.
Application period starts April 5

Rogue Valley businesses impacted by the 2020 Almeda and South Obenchain fires are eligible to apply for recovery grants of $500 to $5,000.

The nonprofit Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. Foundation announced its Wildfire Recovery Fund grant program this week.

The online application portal will be open from Tuesday, April 5, through Tuesday, April 19, at www.soredifoundation.org/grants. Grants will be awarded based on the highest demonstrated needs and economic impacts, not on a first-come, first-served basis.

The foundation hopes to award funding by the end of May.

Eligible businesses include those who may have suffered a loss of their customer base due to the wildfires, along with those that sustained physical losses and can certify that they plan to rebuild. Grant money must be used specifically for business purposes.

Approximately $100,000 has been raised for the grant program, mostly from the private sector.

“We are grateful to get this fund established, thanks to many generous private sector partners, and get some help out the door to businesses impacted by the 2020 Southern Oregon wildfires,” said Colleen Padilla, SOREDI Foundation executive director. “We know these grants won’t completely make a business whole. Our hope, though, is to convey a business-friendly spirit and appreciation for our business community as they choose to rebuild and press on here in Southern Oregon.”

All applicants will need to demonstrate need through appropriate financial documents, as requested through the grant portal. Awards will be vetted by a SOREDI Foundation board committee.

The foundation expects there may not be enough money to fund all grant requests, and some applicants may not be eligible. However, if money is still available after grants have been made, another application period could open up.

Major private sector contributors to the Wildfire Recovery Fund include SOREDI, Umpqua Bank, Rogue Credit Union, Boise Cascade, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Tribal One, Pacific Power, AllCare Health, Avista Utilities and Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors. Additional donations into the fund can be made at www.soredifoundation.org/donate.