City & Chamber Calling Local Businesses About CARES Act Assistance

Small Business Administration

The City of Hermiston, Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, and Hermiston Downtown District are working together to directly contact all local businesses and encourage them to work with their banking partners to understand their potential benefit from the recently passed Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Businesses who are members of the Chamber, Downtown District, or have a utility account with the City of Hermiston will receive a phone call about the CARES Act on either April 2, or April 3.

The CARES Act includes $349 billion specifically for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which allows businesses to borrow up to 2.5 times their monthly payroll.  Any funds borrowed from the federal government through the PPP, which are used to pay for certain fixed costs like payroll, rent, and utilities through June 30, will be converted from a loan to a grant.

The City of Hermiston, Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, and Hermiston Downtown District are encouraging all local businesses to contact their bankers immediately about the Paycheck Protection Program.  The U.S. Treasury Department indicates applications will be accepted beginning April 3, with funds directed through SBA lenders and eligible banks and credit unions.

Many financial institutions are working toward becoming eligible to assist with the Paycheck Protection Program, but as of March 31, the only certified banks with physical branches located in Hermiston are:

  • Banner Bank
  • Columbia State Bank
  • Umpqua Bank
  • U.S. Bank

Businesses are encouraged to contact their current banking partners first to verify their bank’s ability to work with this program.

“This is a huge Federal spending bill which sounds too good to be true, and is therefore sure to generate a large degree of disbelief from businesses, and unfortunately give rise to a large sub-industry of scammers,” said Mark Morgan, Assistant City Manager.  “That’s why we want to directly contact all of our local businesses and encourage them to talk to their banking partners. A huge thanks is owed to the offices of Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as Representative Greg Walden for assisting us and our rural Oregon partners to understand this opportunity.”

The City of Hermiston wants to ensure that local area businesses and workers emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as vibrant as possible.  Due to the potential for fraudulent information to begin flooding business owners, a team of City of Hermiston Staff has been re-allocated from the Library and the Recreation Department, to assist the Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce to make these outreach calls to businesses.

Additional Links and Information

The City of Hermiston and Greater Hermiston Chamber of Commerce are not lenders, financial planners or tax consultants. The links below have been generally vetted for authenticity from reliable sources, but neither the City, nor the Chamber, can verify the accuracy or applicability of all information contained in these links.

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