East County Alert: new grants are available for small East County businesses hit by vandalism

Multnomah County is offering another round of up to $5,000 to help small businesses operating east of Interstate 205 repair damage from vandalism.

Businesses can use the funds to repair broken windows, remove graffiti and mend damage from vandalism that occurred since July 1, 2022. The County is partnering with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) to distribute aid to small businesses. 

Apply for the grant in English or Spanish here.

District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegmann led the effort to continue funding the anti-vandalism grant program to support East county businesses. The anti-vandalism fund was created in June 2022 after reports of vandalism in east Multnomah County more than tripled between 2019 and 2021. Businesses that had been targeted suffered economic losses on top of the significant challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While the city of Portland has a repair grant program to cover vandalism costs for businesses within the city, no such program existed in east County. This program will help support small businesses by covering the cost of vandalism up to $5,000. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. East County businesses all too often don’t have access to the same resources that other businesses have. And usually smaller claims like glass breakage and vandalism are not covered by insurance” said Commissioner Stegmann. “The support of mom and pop businesses is vital to our community”.

Mt Hood looking east.

The County is partnering with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) to distribute aid to small businesses. Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon provides a wide range of programs and services to small businesses, including lending, business planning, market research, classes and mentoring.

“Vandalism harms more than business facades and windows, it hurts our community. Local business owners should be focused on expanding their enterprise, not on repairing damage,’’ said Cobi Lewis, executive director of MESO. “We are happy to be able to offer up to $5,000 to an entrepreneur whose business has recently been impacted by vandalism.” 

Only one application will be accepted for any one business or business owner. 

To qualify for the “Multnomah County Vandalism Grant,” a business must meet all of the following criteria:

1. Be located in Multnomah County, east of I-205

2. Have repaired physical damage to the business since July 1, 2022

3. Be headquartered in Oregon and principally operate in Oregon

4. If required, be registered with the Oregon Secretary of State to do business

5. Be for-profit or a 501(c)(3) non-profit

6. Be open or planning to reopen shortly 

7. Comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations

8. Cannot be a passive investment holding company

9. Cannot be delinquent on taxes due before May 18, 2021

“The need to help small businesses who suffered so much from the COVID-19 disruption, but didn’t necessarily qualify for other repair grants, is still very real,’’ said Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. “I’m committed to doing what we can to help these small East County businesses that are so critical to our community’s recovery and economic health.”

Please email grants@mesopdx.org with any questions.