A Black businessman in a green face mask turns the sign on his business to read "Sorry We Are Closed Please Come Back Again" - Oregon Cares

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Oregon CARES Act funds may soon be distributed to more Black businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a recent settlement agreement.

Lead plaintiff Great Northern Resources had filed a lawsuit over the Oregon Emergency Board’s allocation of $62 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to the state’s Department of Administrative Services.

The intent of this allocation was to create the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency, which would be money available to Oregon-based Black businesses and community organizations, according to the settlement agreement.


The fund was scheduled to expire Dec. 30, 2020, based on the federal CARES Act deadline for expenditures.

However, on Dec. 8, 2020, The Contingent, a nonprofit with existing programs serving the Black community in Oregon that was administering the fund, announced it would no longer be accepting applications because it had received more than could be funded with what remained in the fund.

"CARES Act" is seen on a laptop screen - Oregon cares

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The Proposed Class includes all individuals, businesses, and nonprofits that applied to the Oregon Cares Fund prior to Dec. 8, 2020, whose applications do not indicate the applicant identifies as Black or as a Black-owned business or Black-focused organization

About 1,252 applicants are estimated to be Class Members.

Individuals, business, and nonprofits who did not apply to the Oregon Cares Fund before Dec. 8, 2020, are not included in the Class.


Under the terms of the settlement, Class Members would not be paid from the Oregon Cares Fund, but rather from an approximately $3.5 million fund established by the state.

Timely applications submitted by non-Black business owners will be considered for funding through the grant program automatically unless they opt out of the settlement, the Blue Mountain Eagle reported.

Applicants must be able to satisfy the Oregon Cares Fund’s original criteria for funding eligibility based on losses due to COVID-19.

Did you apply for an Oregon Cares Fund grant? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.

The plaintiffs are represented by Bradley Benbrook and Stephen M. Duvernay of Benbrook Law Group PC, Jonathan F. Mitchell of Mitchell Law PLLC, and James L. Buchal of Murphy & Buchal LLP.


The Oregon CARES Act Discrimination Lawsuit is Great Northern Resources Inc., et al. v. Katy Coba, et al., Case No. 3:20-cv-01866-IM (L), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division.

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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.

1 Comment

  • Blake Jones March 24, 2021

    Applied and was denied within 24 hours, and was not able to use any of the Cares Funds to recover any funds lost due to COVID. Lost my job in March but wasn’t even started to be paid unemployment until starting July. All immediate funds from unemployment went to months passed due bills. I was back in the same hole. I’m now up to over 12000 owed in rent, and 1000 in electricity, and our apartment complex refuses to work on maintenance issues for over a year now.

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