Grant Funding Coming for Organizations Serving Underrepresented Businesses
Business Oregon is pleased to announce the availability of up to $9 million in grants for organizations that provide business Technical Assistance (TA) to historically underrepresented and under-resourced businesses across the state, as outlined in Governor Kate Brown’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan. This program was established by the 2021 Oregon Legislature and builds on a federally-funded pilot program that debuted in 2020 to help businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 2020 pilot, Business Oregon awarded grant funding to 23 statewide organizations who both reflected and responded to the unique needs of Oregon’s diverse small business community. One of the recipients of the pilot grant funding was the Oregon Native American Chamber (ONAC).
"The Oregon Legislature and Business Oregon are investing in our communities in ways that can redefine our engagement in our local economies through intentional support from and through culturally specific and grassroots organizations with much-needed resources to help our businesses not only survive but prosper,” said James Parker, ONAC Executive Director. “ONAC is excited about the future opportunities to support all communities that have been marginalized or left behind by policies and programs not built with them in mind."
Building on the success of the 2020 pilot program, Business Oregon is currently seeking applications for the 2021-2023 grant cycle from service providers who can demonstrate authentic connections to their clients; offer population-aligned services and resources; and extend and enhance the availability of services targeted to underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses.
This Request for Grant Applications will result in the selection of a cohort of TA providers. Each provider will offer culturally competent, linguistically appropriate, and geographically aligned resources to meet the needs of Oregon’s diverse small business population. Common types of TA for small business include business plan review and assistance, marketing and brand identity, technology services, access to capital, and business coaching, among many other services.
In addition to supporting the expansion and delivery of TA, the program aims to help strengthen individual TA provider organizations and build a more integrated and cohesive statewide network of resource providers.
Applications are due by 11:59 pm PST on Monday, November 15, 2021. Detailed program information and the application materials can be found at https://www.oregon4biz.com/Innovate-&-Create/.