▶️ Deschutes Co. small biz owners receive millions in COVID relief

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Jennifer Chesney owns a production company and hasn’t worked in nine months.

Chesney has been relying on unemployment while the live event industry is temporarily non-existent.

“Until the vaccine is out and people can travel internationally and large groups can gather again,” Chesney said. “I don’t expect to be working until next July or August.”

Chesney was one of over 200 business owners to pick up a COVID relief check in Bend and Redmond Wednesday.

The money is part of a $2.3 million state grant given to Deschutes County through the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.

“Unemployment has helped a little bit, but that’s running out,” Chesney said. “So any little bit helps at this point to push payroll through and help pay the mortgage and living expenses.”

County commissioners added an additional $200,000 to the grant

Smaller businesses received around $2,500 dollars, larger businesses up to $5,000.

Those who have not received funding in the past may even get a few thousand more.

“How long can you keep losing money?” said Patti Adair, chairwoman of the Deschutes County Commission. “The checks may not be as much as I would love, but definitely it will be helpful. Especially right before Christmas.”

Adair says she’s not sure if more grants will become available, but business owners are happy with what they received.

Jessica Beauchemin, owner of JessBFit in Bend, says her personal training business has suffered and that she’s going to put her check to good use.

“I’m able to refill my savings, what I’ve been living off of when I originally got the hit,” Beauchemin said. “So just paying my bills, feed myself, take care of my people, and keep the heat on.”

The remaining checks will be mailed to business owners.

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