Stories and Impact
The Oregon Investment Board funds are intended to strengthen and diversity the economy of the National Scenic Area to increase economic prosperity and job opportunities, while protecting and enhancing the quality of life.
Projects must benefit the Multnomah, Hood River, and/or Wasco County portions of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
Funding will be awarded on the competitive basis of project feasibility and sustainable long-term economic benefit. Investments must be consistent with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Gorge Commission’s Management Plan. Funds will not used for program administration or to relocate a business from one community to another. Wide geographic distribution of funds, leverage of other funds, and stimulation of private investment will be considerations for all investment decisions
Funding Focus Areas
Projects seeking grant or loan funding through the Oregon Investment Board must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Create jobs, emphasizing family wage jobs (Increase local employment. Focus on increasing median income/wages.)
- Focus on workforce training and development (Provide or enhance education and training programs for existing businesses as well as new industries targeted for recruitment.)
- Expand the economy (Expand the region’s traditional economic base.)
- Diversify the economy (Diversify the region’s traditional economic base such as tourism, light industrial industries, and projects that are environmentally compatible and consistent with the goals of the NSA.)
- Increase the regions tax base (Aid in the construction or purchase of assets that will be added to the property tax base.)
- Sell area’s products outside the region (Assist with marketing and promotion of the region’s products and services outside the local market area.)
- Add value to region’s products (Increase the potential for adding value to the region’s traditional resource-based industries (agriculture and forest products).)
- Help develop new products (Help develop and promote new value-added enterprises and products that increase local employment and incomes.)
- Provide support for adequate public infrastructure (Provide the gap financing necessary to complete required planning projects or construct public infrastructure.)
Additionally, project should leverage use of available resources (Project provides the needed matching funds to leverage other grants and loans as the final financing piece. Project offers in-kind time and the use of internal resources to insure project success)
Grants and Loans
The majority of the funds allocated for economic development are designated for business loans and investments, community development, and infrastructure. The Oregon Investment Board makes grant funding available to non profit organizations and local governments offering employment and furthering the economic well being of the National Scenic Area. Grants are available on a competitive basis, based on how the project meets the goals and strategies of the Plan. Grants are also available to for-profit entities under the following circumstances: grants are generally for regional marketing, planning/pre-development, and training programs, and generally not for projects that would give a business an unfair competitive advantage over another in the local region.