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$500,000 in small business grants with American Rescue Plan Act

The City is providing $500,000 in small business grants with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding approved by City Council.

Grant details

  • Open to businesses that:
    • have 25 or fewer employees
    • are based within Gresham city limits
    • have an active Gresham business license
  • All eligible applications will go into a lottery and grantees pulled randomly from the pool.
  • Grant funds can be used for rent, lease, or mortgage payment, or employment development and retention.
  • Complete applications are critical. Incomplete applications could lead to disqualification.
  • Notifications of grant awards are expected to take place starting March 14.

Grant amounts

The maximum grant amount is $10,000. Fifty percent of the $500,000 pool is reserved for businesses owned by Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC), women and veterans.


A business is eligible to apply if the business:

  • Is currently open for business.
  • Has an active Gresham business license.
  • Is based within Gresham city limits.
  • Is registered to do business in Oregon with the Secretary of State (if required by Oregon law).
  • Has 25 or fewer employees.
  • Was adversely affected by COVID-19 in accordance with Governor Brown's Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order No. 20-12, either by:
    • being prohibited to operate, or
    • was able to operate but saw a one-month decline in sales of 50% or more as compared to January or February of 2020, or the same period in 2019 for seasonal businesses.

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Businesses (such as marijuana businesses) that do not comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
  • Businesses that do not already have an active Gresham business license in good standing.
  • Passive real estate holding companies and other entities holding passive investments (such as residential rental properties or short-term rentals).
  • Non-profit entities.
  • Businesses that experience a decline in revenues for reasons other than those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., seasonal or cyclical businesses).

Gresham Oregon Small Businesses are Vital to the Health of the Community

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, employing almost half of the nation’s workforce in recent years and comprising over 99% of all firms. The unprecedented public health measures and altered consumer habits prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic have had an acute effect on these businesses. "

National League of Cities

Are ARPA funds grants?

Yes, the City of Gresham has worked hard in order to obtain and earmark funds for Gresham area business owners.  Applications to access these funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act are available and being accepted through Monday, February 28th, 2022.  Monies will be awarded to Gresham businesses that support 25 employees or less, with a focus on BIPOC, women and veteran owned small businesses.

Helping to revitalize the local Gresham Area community by supporting entrepreneurs is expected to be transformative for many struggling in the pandemic environment.

Grants will be awarded on a lottery basis, up to $10,000 per grant for a total of $500,000.  These are grants and will not be asked to be repaid.