From Oregon Economic Development Guide 2022

Lending a Helping Hand

Business Oregon stands ready to assist companies that are primed to grow.

The Minto Island Bridge stretches over the Willamette River at Riverfront City Park in Salem, Oregon.
Photo: Getty Images


Business Oregon offers a comprehensive array of incentives to growing businesses throughout the state. What the office did for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022 provides a great overview of the programs available to expanding companies.

For the first quarter of this year, the state economic development organization awarded a total of 46 incentives, grants and loans totaling $24.35 million, with 83% of the awards going to projects in rural communities.

The awards included seven brownfield loans or grants; five community development block grants; four grants from the Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund; one Oregon Business Development Fund loan; one ports program grant; nine grants or loans from the Safe Water Drinking Fund; six grants or loans from the Water/Wastewater Fund; one Special Public Works Fund grant; and 12 grants or loans from other infrastructure programs.

While the bulk of these expenditures are going to fund infrastructure projects in rural communities, some of them are funding business expansion projects, such as a $690,000 loan to fund the expansion of the Portland Garment Factory in Multnomah County.
Other grants and loans provide working capital to startups, such as Dragon Slayers Inc. in Nehalem and Pear Business Services in Salem.

For the 5-year period covering fiscal years 2017 through 2021, Business Oregon awarded 6,409 investments totaling just over $1 billion. Most of these investments (5,079) were made in FY 2021, when Business Oregon doled out nearly $369 million in loans and grants to businesses and communities.

Last year, 39% of the awards went to businesses, up from 6% in 2017. Since 2017, 36% of the awards have gone to rural communities.

In addition to these specific Business Oregon programs, the state of Oregon operates a myriad of funds designed to stimulate business and community growth and development.

These range from the Beginning and Expanding Farmer Loan Program to the Oregon Investment Advantage program.

The Oregon Investment Advantage program is a 10-year taxable income exemption for a certified business in eligible locations. It can be combined with other property tax abatement programs. Firms establishing operations in an eligible county can be certified up to 10 consecutive times to annually deduct or subtract taxable income related to those business operations, potentially eliminating any state business income tax liability for the period.

For the first quarter of 2022, the state economic development organization has awarded 46 incentives, grants and loans totaling $24.35 million, with 83% of the awards going to projects in rural communities.

To expedite industrial development, Oregon offers a variety of initiatives aimed at providing ready-made industrial sites. These include the Certified Shovel Ready Program, Oregon Prospector, Regionally Significant Industrial Sites, and the Special Public Works Fund.

For more information on incentive programs in Oregon, contact the headquarters of Business Oregon in Salem at 503-986-0123. 

Ron Starner
Executive Vice President of Conway, Inc.

Ron Starner

Ron Starner is Executive Vice President of Conway Data, Inc. He has been with Conway Data for 22 years and serves as a writer and editor for both Site Selection and the company's Custom Content publishing division. His Twitter handle is @RonStarner.


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