The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, has awarded $800,225 to local Oregon businesses to support job retention and stabilization through a newly created COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant Program. The agency redirected its standard scheduled competitive medium grant cycle and reallocated this funding to help support operational costs for local, small tourism businesses with the goal of maintaining jobs and the ability to keep doors open when travel resumes. Eligible applicants included lodging properties, tour operators, guides and outfitters, federally recognized tribes and destination marketing organizations (DMOs).
In total, 332 applications were submitted with 121 awarded in 30 Oregon counties. More than 90 percent of the funds are awarded to businesses in Oregon communities with fewer than 35,000 residents and more than 70 percent of the funds are dedicated to cover some portion of payroll expenses.
“Our hope is that these grant dollars help keep businesses and organizations from shuttering permanently. As Oregon gradually positions itself to begin to welcome visitors, it will be these marketing organizations, small lodging properties, guides and outfitters and the like that will be providing and sharing legendary Oregon experiences with them,” said Todd Davidson, CEO Travel Oregon. “Public health has to remain a priority for our state as we help Oregon communities that rely on tourism to stabilize during this time of transition. Long-term, it is these businesses that will be crucial to the state’s economic recovery.”
The 121 grant projects funded will be completed (funding spent) by December 31, 2020.
For more information on Travel Oregon’s grants program visit: industry.traveloregon.com/grants.
The Central Oregon COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant awardees are:
- La Pine Chamber of Commerce, La Pine ($5,000)
- Redmond Chamber of Commerce, Redmond ($5,000)
- Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, Sisters ($10,000)
- City Center Motel, Prineville ($5,000)
- Greenway Motel, Redmond ($5,000)
- River Run Lodge, Maupin ($2,500)
- Painted Hills Vacation Rentals LLC, Mitchell ($5,000)
Tour Operators, Guides and Outfitters
- Deschutes River Adventures, Maupin ($10,000)
- Imperial River Company, Maupin ($5,000)
- Krein Consulting LLC, Maupin ($5,000)
- Paulina Plunge Inc., Bend ($2,500)
- River Drifters White Water Tours, Inc., Maupin ($9,000)