Commissioners vow county help for small businesses

Linn County will again reach out to small businesses affected by Gov. Kate Brown’s recent actions to ban indoor dining at restaurants and bars due to the COVID-19 pandemic, commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker agreed Tuesday morning.
The commissioners approved allocating $1 million in state or federal stimulus funds expected to arrive here next week.
Board Chair Nyquist said he believes the funds need to be dispersed as soon as possible since small businesses are again facing the challenge of making payroll and paying taxes.
Last fall the board — working with the Albany and Lebanon chambers of commerce —dispersed almost $1.6 million to about 140 small businesses.
“We are now in that same situation,” Nyquist said. “Our priority should be getting money to them as quickly as we can.”
Nyquist said there is no “need to reinvent the wheel” when it comes to the application process. Business owners can apply through the two chambers of commerce and if their application is approved, a check could be cut by County Treasurer Michelle Hawkins the same day.
The Albany Chamber of Commerce phone number is (541) 926-1517 and the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce phone number is (541) 258-7164.
Linn County expects the money will be backfilled by the state, but the Legislature has not released funding and the county also expects to receive about $12 million in federal stimulus funding next week.