Coronavirus relief fund in Oregon meant to help Black-owned businesses exclusively

Coronavirus relief fund in Oregon meant to help Black-owned businesses exclusively

COVID-19 has proven to be an equal opportunity menace, killing people of all races and ethnicities.

Government shutdowns put in place to slow its spread have hurt small businesses in every corner of America, but in Oregon, the state legislature established a relief fund for Black people. The Oregon Cares Fund uses $62 million from the federal CARES Act for grants. To be eligible, individuals, families and businesses must live in or be based in Oregon, demonstrate hardship due to COVID-19 and self-identify as Black.


Joy Mack, owner of Jayah Rose Salon & Spa in Portland, went $30,000 into debt during the three-month COVID lockdown in Oregon. She called her Oregon Cares Fund grant a lifeline.

“When you go for other types of loans, there’s a little extra scrutiny,” Mack said. “I’ve experienced it more than once myself, we [Black business owners] have a little more difficult time accessing resources.”

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