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UPDATED: Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI)
COVID-19 Equitable Economic Recovery: Workforce Support
FEBRUARY 17, 2022
Local community partners are invited to apply for a partnership opportunity with Washington County through a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) focused on supporting our shared workforce development challenges. The attached RFEI (Request for Expression of Interest) will provide you with details about our process and how you can apply.
Washington County recognizes that to best support workers and local businesses during this challenging time, it is essential to develop and strengthen partnerships with local community-based organizations (CBOs), educational institutions, and other non-profits. These organizations are mission driven and possess the technical expertise, community relationships, and other assets that can play a prominent role in this effort. The County seeks to provide opportunities for immediate workforce development assistance using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
The County seeks expressions of interest from CBOs, local non-profit organizations and educational institutions to partner with the County in this mission of bolstering the local workforce development ecosystem. In this way, the County welcomes innovative and community-grounded ideas about how to support workers.
The goals of this initiative are to:
- Provide support and assistance to individuals that have lost their jobs or have otherwise faced negative economic consequences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Strategically invest in local workforce partners to build and expand capacity in the local workforce development system.
- Create new opportunities for workers to enter or advance in their careers, including career exploration, career basics classes, retraining or “rapid training” programs, scholarships, etc.
- Develop industry-targeted training programs to address worker deficits in local industries that have either been adversely impacted by the pandemic or have dominant local industry clusters, including but not limited to leisure and hospitality, healthcare, and manufacturing.
The County intends to use a two-step solicitation process to award funds. Step one is the RFEI—at this stage the County is seeking entities to set forth their qualifications along with their preliminary ideas about the programs they intend to propose to expand or establish with the County, consistent with the evaluation criteria set forth within the RFEI document. In the second step, the County anticipates inviting select organizations to submit more detailed proposals for evaluation and selection for funding. Responding to the first round is required to be invited to participate in the full solicitation process of round two.
Here is the County’s Schedule:
- January 27, 2022
County issues RFEI
- February 10, 2022, 3:00PM
Listening Session. A virtual and non-mandatory listening session will be held to answer questions about this solicitation. To receive an invite to the session, please email the project contact: Greg Goloborodko firstname.lastname@example.org.
This listening session has been completed. Watch the recording at the bottom of this section or click here to watch.
- March 3, 2022, 5:00 PM
- Deadline for Responses (Electronic submissions only). Submissions should be emailed to: Greg Goloborodko email@example.com. A confirmation email will be sent to proposing organizations to confirm receipt.
- All submissions will be reviewed by the Review Panel shortly after the deadline, with an announcement about Round Two eligible organizations expected in late Winter 2022.
Any questions can be directed to Greg Goloborodko via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westside Pitch Competition for startup businesses in Washington County
The Westside Pitch competition is coming to Washington County this Spring! Emerging entrepreneurs will have the chance to showcase their early-stage businesses and pitch their venture concept to a panel of local investors.
In preparation for the event, participating businesses will receive personalized coaching by Laura Kubisiak the Venture Catalyst for Washington County. Industry talent, networks, and resources converge here to make Washington County a great place to start and grow a business. This event will offer an excellent opportunity to increase the visibility of these business ventures to both investors and the general public.
What: Westside Pitch is a startup competition for Washington County entrepreneurs seeking to showcase their early-stage businesses.
- First place $5,000
- Second place $2,500
The team is also seeking offerings of in-kind services provided by local businesses, such as accountants and attorneys.
Who: Early-stage business ventures that currently operate or plan to operate in Washington County, Oregon, as well as people living in Washington County, are eligible to compete. Selected businesses will have developed or be in the process of developing a unique, scalable product or service that solves a major industry problem. Apply here.
When: Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Walters Cultural Arts Center - 527 E Main Street Hillsboro, Oregon
Key Dates: January 5, 2022 — Application process opens
February 4, 2022 — Application deadline by 5pm PT
February 21, 2022 — Finalist Announcement
March 10, 2022 — Westside Pitch Competition
Not ready to compete but wish to attend anyway and celebrate local entrepreneurs? Please join us for appetizers & beverages and help us cheer these innovative ventures! To buy a ticket or for more details visit https://oregon.tie.org/westside-pitch-2022/.
Got questions? Contact Laura Kubisiak at Laura@VentureCatalyst.biz
Enhancements to COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
On September 9, 2021 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced an update to the federal disaster loan program for small businesses, non-profits, and agricultural businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Key changes being announced by the SBA include:
- Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap. From $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying debt.
- Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period. Repayment will not begin until two years after loan origination.
- Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window. A 30-day exclusivity window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
- Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
- Simplification of affiliation requirements.
New applications are now being accepted until December 31, 2021. Visit www.sba.gov/eidl to learn about eligibility and application requirements.
RFI for Small Business Assistance
Washington County is issuing a request for information (RFI) from community-based organizations and community development financial institutions about ways to assist small businesses in their recovery from the economic damage that occurred during the pandemic. For information and guidance on the program go here.
OPERATIONAL COST GRANTS
Certain businesses with 100 or fewer employees can apply for potentially thousands of dollars in grants between now and June 6, 2020. Eligible businesses must:
- offer the consumption of food and or drink on premise;
- provide specified indoor physical exercise, recreational or family entertainment; OR
- provide specified personal services; and that experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon.
Businesses that received assistance grants through the state of Oregon Commercial Rent Relief Program for the same location are eligible to receive the grant, as long as the award amount through the Commercial Rent Relief Program was less than $100,000. Find more details and application guidance here.
RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND
The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Find application guidance here.
COMMERCIAL RENT RELIEF PROGRAM
On April 22, Business Oregon will open the second round of a grant program for building owners to cover outstanding lease payments from small business tenants that are behind on rent due to COVID-19. The grants can go up to $100,000 per each business tenant, but not more than $3 million for each landlord. Find application guidance here.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The federal government is prioritizing paycheck protection program (PPP) assistance for businesses with less than 20 employees from February 24 to March 10. Contact the U.S. Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, or any bank that is a PPP lender to start the process. You can reach out to our Business Recovery Centers or the Oregon Small Business Advocate for more information.
BUSINESS RECOVERY CENTERS
Washington County has partnered with the Chambers of Commerce in Hillsboro, Tualatin, Beaverton, and Adelante Mujeres to provide free assistance to all businesses throughout Washington County. If your business needs assistance in reacting to COVID-19, the Business Recovery Centers are there to help. Visit the BRC website to find out what they can do to help or to set up a consultation.
NEW REOPENING FRAMEWORK
We are all connected, and our individual actions can make the difference for everyone. Until it is clear the virus is better controlled, the county is asking people and business to continue to work to slow the spread.
- To find more information about federal and state assistance programs, click on the icons on the right side of the page.
Greater Portland Inc. has also collected information on a variety of programs, resources and tools for businesses within the Portland Metro Region, including those in Washington County.
The PCC Small Business Center has created guidelines for consideration of business needs as small businesses continue to navigate COVID-19.