Business Oregon Receives Federal Grant to Support an Economic Recovery Plan for Oregon
To accompany Oregon’s 10-Point Economic Recovery Plan released by Governor Kate Brown, Business Oregon is creating a statewide Economic Recovery Plan, which will emphasize assisting those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly Oregon’s underrepresented businesses, communities, and organizations. Business Oregon will analyze the areas of Oregon’s economy that have been most negatively impacted by the pandemic, while taking into consideration both region and industry. The effort will be funded with state funds paired with a $177,600 grant from the federal Economic Development Administration.
The plan will identify existing economic development programs that may best mitigate those impacts, and propose new programs to fill the gaps or better meet needs. The programs identified must promote growth and address unmet recovery needs in equitable ways, particularly within those communities most impacted by the pandemic and those under-resourced to begin with.
The plan will help identify metrics to track needs and impact, and provide an overall roadmap for the state to build back better and recover from the economic impacts from the pandemic.
“While we know the pandemic has impacted businesses small and large, this project will help us deliver a more concrete approach to building back our economy equitably,” said Business Oregon Director Sophorn Cheang. “Business Oregon’s equitable economic recovery planning is a strategic next step after our immediate emergency response that delivered nearly $300 million for Oregon businesses and communities. This project will incorporate the actions outlined in the Governor’s 10-point plan, and support regional planning happening around the state.”
In order to construct the Economic Recovery Plan, Business Oregon is teaming up with Pacific Northwest consulting firm ECONorthwest, which won a competitive solicitation process out of a national pool of applicants.
“The pandemic and accompanying recession disproportionately impacted lower income households and communities of color,” said Lorelei Juntunen, Partner and VP of Operations of ECONorthwest. “Under Business Oregon’s leadership, ECONorthwest will seek to understand those impacts and the uneven recovery that has occurred to date, and develop a set of recommendations about how recovery can advance Business Oregon’s mission of a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. For Business Oregon and ECONorthwest, recovery planning presents both a mandate and an opportunity to directly address the economic inequities laid bare during the pandemic, create living-wage jobs, advance equal participation in the labor force, and support robust small business growth.”
Business Oregon expects to have a final plan produced by February 2022.