$1M coming to Irrigon to support small businesses

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Hermiston Herald

Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Tuesday, Aug. 8, that the city of Irrigon has received $1 million from the federal Small Business Administration to build a business opportunity incubator.

“Irrigon is very excited about this funding.?This grant brings opportunities for sustainable growth in our community and our region,” Irrigon City Manager Aaron Palmquist said. “The incubator development project will help entrepreneurs to take that first big step toward launching their own business. The city of Irrigon is also grateful to U.S. SBA and?agency staff?for getting this project award across the finish line.?The project fits hand and glove with the current business developments happening in our community.”

Funding will support the creation of a business opportunity incubator for the city, according to a U.S. Senate press release. Such organizations helps new and startup businesses develop by providing services such as management training, office space, access to financing and networking opportunities.

The Senate release also states the Irrigon incubator will provide a facility for small- to medium-sized businesses with a focus on enhancing opportunities for minority-owned businesses and women-owned enterprises, as well as supporting low-income populations.

Merkley and Wyden secured the project’s funding in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations package.

“Small businesses are the backbone of economies across Oregon and are vital to the success of the communities they serve,” said Merkley, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee that funds such projects. “This project will support small and medium sized businesses in Irrigon, providing space and support for companies to grow and thrive.”

Wyden said federal investment to help jump-start small- and medium-size businesses that generate jobs in rural Oregon is crucial to the state’s economy.

“I’m gratified that Irrigon has earned this $1 million that will make the town and Morrow County an even better place to live and work for generations to come,” he said.