Entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and existing businesses now have access to additional flexible lending resources through the Oregon and Washington Investment Boards. $1.9 Million in new funds, awarded from USDA Rural Development, have increased the pool of funds available to support businesses within the boundaries of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area for post-pandemic recovery.
The Oregon and Washington Investment Boards were created to provide economic development loans and grants in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The funding criteria includes creation of jobs and supporting investments that strengthen and diversify the Columbia River Gorge economy. Prior to 2021, these Boards have received and distributed some $8.1 million in funds to support the economy in the Mid-Columbia region. This additional $1.9 million, awarded by the USDA in 2021, is now available for small business loans anywhere within the boundaries of the National Scenic Area, including urban areas. Businesses within the National Scenic Area portions of Clark, Skamania and Klickitat Counties can apply to the WIB. Businesses in the National Scenic Area portions of Multnomah, Hood River and Wasco Counties can apply to the OIB.
“We are excited to have more money available for business lending in the region to fulfill the need in our communities.”
– says Kevin Waters, Executive Director of Skamania County Economic Development Council
Loans can be used to contribute to the financing needed by a business to purchase or build new facilities, purchase equipment, or provide working capital. Almost any legal business including sole proprietorships, LLCs, Corporations, and partnerships can apply. Loans support start-ups, established businesses, and businesses from most sectors. Loans must be fully collateralized, and loan amounts range from $1,000 to $250,000. Staff are available to support the application process, making it easy and accessible.
The Washington Investment Board (WIB) funds are managed by the Skamania County Economic Development Council, and the Oregon Investment Board (OIB) funds are managed by Mid-Columbia Economic Development District.
For Washington loans, contact Kevin Waters (509) 427-5110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Oregon loans, contact Ami Beaver at 541-296-2266 x1004 or email@example.com.