$62M Oregon Cares Fund aims to help Black businesses

Coronavirus

Applications being taken, funds to be distributed by Dec. 30, 2020

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A $62 million fund through the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board is now taking applications for targeted grants to help Black people, Black businesses and Black-led non-profits throughout the state.

The Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resliency will disburse all the funds by December 30, 2020, officials said in a release Monday morning. Those who apply must show they’ve been economically harmed by the pandemic and be able to prove they live in Oregon.

Officials said 11 Black leaders from across the state make up the Council of Trust, which will guide the fund. Two non-profits — The Contingent and The Black United Fund — will distribute the money.

The Oregon Cares Fund
The Oregon Cares Fund FAQs

The applications will be reviewed in 3 periods and it will take a few weeks after an application is submitted before applicants will hear about their application.

State Rep. Akasha Lawrence Spence, a Portland Democrat, sits on the Council of Trust. “Oregon has underinvested in its Black citizens for far too long,” Spence said in a statement. “From this moment forward, our state must commit to continued investment in the health and economic well-being of our communities throughout this pandemic, in the recovery efforts, and for as long as it takes to finally close the inequities that have crippled Black Oregonians for generations.”

Spence and Rep. Janelle Bynum led this investment through the legislature along with Black leaders and “thousands of Oregon constituents.”

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