Merkley, Wyden Announce $3.6 Million in Federal Funding to Support Oregon Businesses as Coronavirus Impacts Worsen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $3.6 million in federal funding is headed to Oregon to support nine Economic Development Districts as they update economic development plans and strengthen support services amid the deepening coronavirus crisis.

The funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed in March.

“Creativity and resourcefulness have long been critical ingredients for business’ success across Oregon,” said Merkley. “In the midst of the unprecedented challenges caused by the coronavirus, this funding will help our communities unleash those invaluable skills. But much more needs to be done. So while the Senate Majority Leader and the White House sit on their hands, I’m going to keep doing everything I can to secure the resources our businesses need to adapt to this crisis, continue to deliver their vital services, and support the families that rely on them.”

“These resources from the first coronavirus relief package to support job creation and innovation by economic development districts in rural and urban Oregon demonstrate smart, targeted strategies that respond to the economic fallout from this pandemic,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these funds are en route to our state — and if Senate Republicans and Donald Trump finally recognize this economic crisis did not magically end in March, I stand ready now to continue helping provide real assistance for these communities statewide.’’

The funding, which is being administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, will be distributed as follows:

  • Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, in Bend, will receive $400,000 to help provide technical assistance to diversity the Central Oregon economy, and identify pathways to economic recovery.
  • Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District of Oregon, in St. Helens, will receive $400,000 to invest in technical assistance for businesses; support rural communities; and build more equitable, sustainable and disruption-resistant economic systems.
  • Greater Portland Economic Development District, in Portland, will receive $400,000 to develop an action-oriented recovery strategy that supports regional economic development efforts.
  • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, in The Dalles, will receive $400,000 to fund small business training, cover the costs of developing and implementing short-term and long-term economic development strategies for pandemic recovery and resiliency.
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, in Salem, will receive $400,000 to support the region’s agriculture-focused economy; boost regional workforce and business partnership in the region; and develop an economic recovery and resilience strategy.
  • Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, in Enterprise, will receive $400,000 to provide financial resources and technical assistance.
  • South Central Oregon Economic Development District, in Klamath Falls, will receive $400,000 to work with small businesses to assess how they might adapt, including a review of their business model, revenue channels and product/service offerings.
  • Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, in Medford, will receive $400,000 to provide technical assistance; support efforts to diversify the economy of tourism-dependent communities; assist with tourism recovery through marketing initiatives; and help homeless populations seeking housing and employment.
  • Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, in Albany, will receive $381,752 to develop tools to increase local capacity and implement strategies that address the region’s natural resource and tourism needs.