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
- Focus on workforce training and development
- Expand the economy
- Diversify the economy
- Increase the regions tax base
- Sell area’s products outside the region
- Add value to region’s products
- Help develop new products
- Provide support for adequate public infrastructure
Additionally, project should leverage use of available resources
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.
For loans up to $40,000, view the Microlending terms here.
General loan terms include:
- Loan Amount – Limited only by amount of available funds to the Board at the time of application/approval. Generally loans range from $10,000-$500,000
- Interest Rate – fixed at date of disbursement of funds. Government entities: 4 to 6%. Non-government entities: based on risk of project as listed below
|Risk Rating||Margin||Index – WSJ Prime Rate*||OIB Interest Rate*|
*The Wall Street Journal Prime Rate is subject to change. When the WSJ Prime rates changes, so do OIB interest rates.
- Term 1 to 10 years maximum – Normally 5 years
- Security – Tangible assets and/or personal guarantees. (i.e. cash, machinery, equipment, accounts, etc.)
- Other Funding Sources – Documentation of other funding sources
- Loan Fee – An up-front loan fee of 1.5% will be assessed
- Cost – All out of pocket cost, i.e. credit reports, filing fees, etc. will be paid by applicant
Ineligible funding activities include the following:
- Loans to entities outside the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area
- Loans which have the effect of relocating jobs from one place to another within the Scenic Area unless jobs would be lost to an outside area
- Loans for the purpose of investing in accounts or securities
- Loans to lending or investment institutions or insurance companies
- Loans to retire existing debt
- Loans to an entity where the major purpose of the business is gambling or pornography
- Pyramid sales plans
- Projects that would adversely impact flood plains, wetlands, significant historic or archeological properties, drinking water resources, or nonrenewable natural resources without mitigation
- Projects that are inconsistent with the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area Act
- Loans that would create a conflict of interest
The level of funding available for grants is currently extremely limited. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact staff to discuss the viability of a proposal prior to application.
- Awards normally not to exceed $10,000
- Projects should align with the regional economic development strategy as highlighted in the Economic Vitality Plan.
- Grant reimbursement is made on a proportional basis related to the percentage of the grant funds to total project cost. Projects with $2,500 or less in OIB funding are not subject to proportional use of matching funds. Similar provisions for projects using between $2,500 and $5,000 in OIB funding will be determined by staff on a case-by-case basis.
- Awards normally made to not-for-profit organizations or local governments
- Community Development and infrastructure projects are evaluated on need, use of leveraged funds and regional impact.