July eCon Update by mifei

VIEWS: 17 PAGES: 11

									JULY 2007 eCON UPDATE CONGRATULATIONS TO NEW EDCO BOARD MEMBERS We’re pleased to announce the results of our membership vote on six open positions that reconstitute the Board for its July 2007 – June 2008 year. New to the EDCO board (but certainly not to Central Oregonians) is Brian Bergler of Pahlisch Homes at the Gold level. Katie Tank of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt was re-elected at the Silver level; she’s joined by newly elected Darren Powderly of Compass Commercial. Both John Sorlie of Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, and Wes Price of Harrigan, Price, and Fronk were re-elected at the Bronze level. With one available seat open to the region’s financial institutions, Mike Testerman re-joins the board after a four-year hiatus as one of two financial sector representatives. Jean Wood, outgoing EDCO Board President for the 2006-2007 year, officially passes the baton to Wes Price, the organization’s incoming president for the 2007-2008 term at the July 12th Board meeting. BVC NABS NOTED SPEAKER GUY KAWASAKI; PLAN NOW TO ATTEND OCTOBER 19TH EVENT In its fourth year, the Bend Venture Conference is a premier regional event that connects seed and early stage companies with investment opportunities. The event attracts entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers from across the Pacific Northwest and is held in the heart of Bend at the Tower Theatre. This year’s event features famed entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki as keynote speaker. Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. A prolific author, Kawasaki’s most recent book is The Art of the Start-the Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything. Event When Timing Where Cost Contact Information Bend Venture Conference Friday, October 19 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Tower Theatre, Bend, OR $149 (before September 14); $199 thereafter Susan Nabbefeld, 503.860.4699, info@bendvc.com Visit www.bendvc.com

DISNEY COMES TO BEND OCTOBER 25…WITH THE KEYS TO EXCELLENCE A winning business culture isn’t magic…it just looks like it! COCC is sponsoring Disney Keys to Excellence October 25 th in Bend, the only city in the Pacific Northwest to host a Disney Institute meeting this year. The event is expected to draw participants from all parts of Oregon as well as Washington, Idaho, and California. This 2007 Industry Month event will challenge you to look at your business – whether it’s small, mid-sized or large – in an entirely different light. The all-day professional development workshop will share powerful strategies and

business models – truly, the best practice keys to the service kingdom - that are the cornerstones of Disney’s long-term success. You’ll learn how to apply Disney’s innovative approach to your own organization and industry for immediate results. You need not be in the resort or tourism industry to get tremendous value out of the workshop; it’s geared for any company looking to improve its service strategy. More information can be found at http://noncredit.cocc.edu or you may call COCC at 541-383-7290. GET IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR -- SOFTWARE ASSOCIATION OF OREGON TO START CENTRAL OREGON CHAPTER SAO is looking to start a Central Oregon chapter. The Software Association is dedicated to helping technology companies in Oregon start, move, and grow. Currently there are nearly 500 members in the state, although most have been concentrated in the Portland area; the SAO is now looking to gain statewide presence with additional local chapters. The Central Oregon chapter will focus on the technology specific to region’s businesses but have access to statewide resources. There will be a meeting in early August to provide information and allow for discussion of the direction the chapter will take. Look for additional details in the August Update. Meanwhile, contact Bryce Yonker at bryce.yonker@sao.org or call 503-228-5401, Ext. 208. To learn more about SAO and its purpose, visit www.sao.org. PUBTALK & OEN HELP LAUNCH COLUMBIA GORGE WINE CLUB It’s sweet irony that beer was the lubricant to launch a business selling wine! In 2001, EDCO was approached by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (then the Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum) with the notion that information and inspiration played equal roles in cultivating an entrepreneurial atmosphere within a community. PubTalk took immediate root in Central Oregon and Portland, but only blossomed in the rest of the state this year. That statewide network gave Stacey Shaw of Columbia Gorge Wine Club (CGWC), Central Oregon’s early stage presenter in May, just the boost she needed. With an idea that was a mere eight months old, Shaw made a compelling pitch which generated a lot of post-event discussion. One of these discussions was with Buzzsaw Studios, a local marketing firm, which since has been instrumental in the company’s launch in the marketplace. Able to quit her teaching job in order to focus full time on launching CGWC, Shaw noted that “the OEN helped me develop a business plan and gain confidence in presenting the business. They helped me make the right connections to investors and gave me tons of feedback that helped refine the plan.” For more information on the OEN, visit www.oen.org. It’s hard now to recall the early days when PubTalks were attended by a dozen steadfast members as the events have grown steadily in reputation and size. With the last event of the season, EDCO would like to thank all of our attendees and especially long-time title sponsor Ball Janik and new title sponsor, Community First Bank. In addition, appreciation goes to our sponsor partners who provide resources to entrepreneurs and make PubTalks possible: the Bend Venture Conference, Alpine Internet Solutions and Access Knowledge, LLC. Last, PubTalk wouldn’t be PubTalk without emcee Drew Child and behind-the-scenes support from long term committee members Pam Stevenson, Robin Gould and Cris Himes – thanks for all your contributions! ANNUAL EDCO MEMBERSHIP MEETING COMING UP – JULY 17TH Join the EDCO Staff and Board Members for the Annual EDCO Membership meeting to be held Tuesday, July 17th from 9 am- 10:30 am at the St. Charles Medical Center. This meeting is an opportunity for all EDCO members to learn the fundamentals of economic development, business recruitment tactics, ask questions and learn about the structure of EDCO’s region-wide operations. Attendees will also find out how to become more involved with EDCO, and get a peek at activities and events for the 2007-08 fiscal year. This is event is free to all current EDCO Members. Please RSVP to Dayna or call 388-3236 if you plan to attend. PV POWERED ENTERS COMMERCIAL INVERTER MARKET, TEAMS WITH BOEING

Bend-based PV Powered, manufacturer of inverters for the solar market, announced on July 2 nd that their new product places them squarely in the commercial inverter market. President and CEO Gregg Patterson says that the new inverter has been field tested for more than a year and delivers the efficiency and reliability commercial system owners demand. In a related note, the company announced in May that they were part of an industry team led by Boeing Phantom Works to advance solar electric technologies. The combined group of companies has received more than $13 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Initiative and their goal is to make solar power costcompetitive with other forms of renewable energy by 2015. Over the course of the three-year program, PV Powered will develop and contribute enhanced solar power inverter technology that will be integrated with other partners’ technologies. TWO NEW DEVELOPMENTS GIVE PRINEVILLE RESIDENTS MORE CHOICES Crook County is well-known for its agricultural industry, and the needs that go along with it. That’s why ranchers and farmers have relied on Round Butte Seed Growers for everything from grass seed to animal supplies. Now local residents can shop for much more than that at the company’s newest retail store in Prineville. The 5,000 SF building opened in April, with the official Ribbon Cutting on June 15th. Katie Hulett, who co-manages the store with Mark Westwood, says the store has already seen an excellent response from customers. “One of the things customers appreciate about the store is that it allows them to shop for the supplies they need without having to leave the area,” said Hulett. EDCO helped Round Butte with its expansion efforts under Prineville’s Enterprise Zone, which allows expanding or relocating businesses to apply for a three-year property tax exemption. While the retail store didn’t qualify for the E-zone, the rest of the property did, which included construction of warehouses, distribution and seed processing and packaging. Round Butte Seed began in 1961 by several families in the Culver area, who wanted to market their crops to neighbors. Central Oregon’s competitive banking market is extending to Prineville. South Valley Bank & Trust, headquartered in Klamath Falls, has spent the last few years expanding its operations in the tri-county region and just opened it’s 14th Oregon branch in Prineville. Branch Manager Kathy Gailard says the company has been focusing on Central Oregon, and realized in order to serve all the needs of the community, Prineville was an important place to be. “All of the money that comes into the bank goes back into community. To reflect our community commitment, all of my employees were hired from Prineville, and I live in Prineville myself.” HEATHER RICHARDS TAKES THE REINS ON REDMOND’S DOWNTOWN RENEWAL Downtown Redmond is undergoing significant changes. Two major planning efforts in the last two years have resulted in new direction and local incentive programs to facilitate the transformation. A top leader in the field of downtown redevelopment, Richards was recently hired to help guide and implement these changes. As senior planner with the City of Redmond, she will be responsible for refining and managing the various financial incentive programs to enhance the appearance and function of the downtown storefronts. She will also work with developers to complete and review their plans and process their related building permits. Richards “has been a key figure in Nampa’s plans for downtown redevelopment” according to an article in the Nampa, ID newspaper. She did similar work for Baker City, OR prior to her four years in Nampa. SAVE SEPTEMBER 13TH! LEARN HOW TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN EMPLOYEES IN A HIGH COST ENVIRONMENT We’ve all heard about or directly experienced the issue: businesses throughout Central Oregon are finding it hard to attract and retain skilled workers. The challenge is rising living costs, driven primarily by high housing costs, which are proving to be a barrier to relocating to or remaining in Central Oregon for some. What can businesses do to address this regional problem?

Join the Central Oregon Workforce Investment Board (COWIB) as it explores how to do business in a high cost environment. This breakfast event will be held September 13th, 7:30 -10:30am at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. Learn what businesses have done in other fast-growing communities to attract and retain employees, and hear innovative initiatives to expand the availability of housing affordable to the workforce. Contact Andrew Spreadborough, COIC, 504-3306, aspreadborough@coic.org for more information. OREGON BUSINESS MAGAZINE PROFILES PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Pamela Hulse Andrews, CEO of Cascade Publications, promotes the strong connection between arts and economic development in the July issue of Oregon Business Magazine. The founder and publisher of Cascade Publications, publisher of Cascade Business News, Cascade Arts & Entertainment, Cascade Discovery, and most recently, Prineville magazine, has long believed in “the business of culture.” Appointed in April by Governor Kulongoski to the Oregon Cultural Trust, the state’s private-public enterprise that raises money to support arts and culture, Hulse Andrews is tackling her role with characteristic fervor. She observes that not only do art and culture make the job of economic development job easier, but are a business unto themselves. For the full interview, click here. http://www.oregonbusiness.com/.docs/action/detail/rid/27071/pg/10002 OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS HOSTS TWO PROGRAMS STARTING THIS FALL For more information about the two programs below, please contact Susie Stevens, Opportunity Knocks, at 318-4650 or email at susie@opp-knocks.org. Quest for Performance Excellence Series: This is a series of professionally-facilitated meetings designed for CEOs, Presidents and non-profit Executive Directors of Central Oregon businesses and organizations. The workshops are designed to help attendees perform a comprehensive self-assessment of their organization, using criteria from the nationally acclaimed Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program. The workshop assists in identifying and filling critical performance gaps in an organization and, in the process, create a foundation for improving the organization's performance. Jim Lussier, President of The Lussier Center and past president of St. Charles Medical Center, is the facilitator. The program costs $1995 per organization (includes three participants from each business), and begins on September 26, 2007. Management Training Workshop: A nine-month series of once-a-month, three hour workshops designed to develop the organizational and management skills of a small business's key employee. The agenda will include training on: 1) Leadership, 2) Strategic Planning, 3) Customer and Market Focus, 4) Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management, 5) Human Resource Focus, 6) Process Management and 7) Business Results. Jim Schell, founder of Opportunity Knocks and author of six books on small business, is the instructor. Each session will also include a guest speaker addressing the specific topic. Participants should have supervisory responsibilities and fill a key management role in the business. Cost for participants is $995; the series begins on September 27, 2007. HiDEC HOSTS JULY TRAINING High Desert Enterprise Consortium (HiDEC) activities continue this month; contact Eric Strobel for further details: Lean 101 & Visual Management July 17, 18, 19 (Tues, Wed, Thurs) 8:00AM – 5:00PM

General Membership Meeting July 31, (Tues) 3:00 – 5:00 @ MATC in Redmond VISUAL MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES USED FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Woodgrain Millwork in Prineville hosted HiDEC’s most recent learning tour in June. Sixteen participants from five different companies toured the cut line, finger joint and molding areas, and offered suggestions to improve visual management techniques. Richard Murphy, Continuous Improvement Manager at Woodgrain, received a list of 20 follow up items. “It was a great learning experience for our people and we received some helpful comments from the participants that will improve our productivity.” Greg Hastings from Keith Manufacturing added if a company is “successful at creating a visual workplace, you will create a factory that speaks to you.” Woodgrain also received several offers from HiDEC member companies to help in their efforts to value-stream map existing processes. PUBTALK RECONVENES SEPTEMBER 13TH WITH DENNIS MURPHY OF HAYDEN HOMES Enjoy your summer, but mark your calendar now for the kickoff of next season’s PubTalk series: Thursday, September 13th at McMenamins from 5:00 – 7:30 pm. Dennis Murphy, President of Hayden Homes, will share insights about his company’s unique culture, the challenges of managing growth across many Pacific Northwest communities, as well as lessons learned from his career in the real estate development market. WAGES EARNERS IN MANY CATEGORIES EXPERIENCE INCREASES Just released numbers from Oregon Employment Department (OED) for Deschutes County show strong gains in area wages. Only the transportation/warehousing/utility sector saw a decline (-3.3%). Steve Williams, Regional Economist for OED, indicates that the Deschutes County average wage for 2006 is now $16.02/hr or $33,329/yr. Sectors highlighted below all experienced above average increases. Note that these sectors tend to already have some of the better paying jobs; the information speaks to retaining good workers: Deschutes County Covered Sector 2005 ALL GOVERNMENT $37,529 ALL JOBS $31,491 PRIVATE SECTOR $30,681 Construction $35,522 Wholesale $42,241 Local Government $35,891 Manufacturing $35,350 Education & Health Services $37,628 Financial Activities $39,713 Wages 2006 % Incr $39,494 5.24% $33,329 5.84% $32,555 6.11% $37,603 5.86% $44,796 6.05% $38,064 6.05% $37,949 7.35% $40,646 8.02% $43,097 8.52%

You’ll find more of the newly published employment department data on: http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/CEP?action=summary&areacode=04000017&indtype=N&periodcode=01002006&submit=Continue

CROOK AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES SHOW MIXED SIGNS IN 2006 After highlighting Deschutes County employment and growth trends in April, Regional Economist Steve Williams turned his focus to Crook and Jefferson County in a June 29th report. He says “Crook County's economy remained strong in 2006, with unemployment at a historic low and the fifth-fastest employment growth in the state.” Jefferson was more of a mixed bag William says. “Jefferson County also felt the effects of Central Oregon's bustling economy as its unemployment rate dropped, but employment growth remained flat. The county's unemployment dropped to a level not seen since 2000. Unemployment hit 5.7 percent – its second-lowest rate in the past 15 years and four-tenths of a percentage point lower than in 2005.” In a corollary article, “Jefferson County Prepares for Growth Despite Job Lull,” Williams says Jefferson County lost Tribal jobs and manufacturing jobs with the Seaswirl closure but offsetting private sector gains have been relatively strong. Check out two articles on the award-winning OLMIS site: http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/ArticleReader?itemid=00005477&segmentid=0003&tour=0&p_date=111&p_search= http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/ArticleReader?itemid=00005501 AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING IN OREGON: A SMALL INDUSTRY WITH A LARGE FOOTPRINT The aerospace industry is profiles in yet another insightful article from the Oregon Employment Department. Aerospace employs nearly 3,000 people in the state (less than 1% of the Oregon’s employment), but at wages 62% higher than the private-sector average, and in an increasingly global marketplace, it has a big impact. The commercial airline component of the industry is centered in the Portland metro area, while Deschutes County is the hub of general aviation. Oregon’s job growth in the sector has outpaced the nation and state of Washington since 2003 and has a significant ripple effect in creating jobs within the aircraft manufacturing supply chain. With orders, sales, profits, and backlogs at an all time high, the outlook for this sector is positive through at least 2010. To read the full report, visit: http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/ArticleReader?itemid=00005498&segmentid=0001&tour=0&p_date=111111111111 CENTRAL OREGON’S FINANCIAL COMMUNITY GOES TO SCHOOL At early June’s annual Lenders’ Roundtable event, Central Oregon’s financial community was treated to insights from top notch speakers from San Francisco’s Federal Reserve Bank and the FDIC. Keynote Speaker Teresa Curran, Group VP and Deputy for Banking Supervision and Regulation of the Federal Reserve Bank, shared her views on the subprime lending meltdown while Marlene Roberts, Information Technology Examination Specialist with the FDIC, offered attendees the very latest security advice on how to stay one step ahead of increasingly sophisticated crime networks. EVER WONDER WHERE ALL THOSE NEW RESIDENTS COME FROM? OR WHERE THE PACKING VANS GO? Earlier this year, eCon Update highlighted a study from United Van Lines showing Oregon was a high inbound migration state. No surprise there, nor that Central Oregon is a major benefactor of that growth. Thanks to a request from Kathleen Leppert of Leppert & Associates Realty to extract the data specific to Deschutes County, we now have a more complete picture! According to the study, California is by far the biggest in-migration state as well as the highest out-migration location; Arizona and Washington follow a similar pattern. Central Oregon and Colorado have long shared a symbiotic relationship, shown in the data below. Any surprises, you wonder? Outbound locations are far more dispersed than inbound locations and it appears that perhaps some

departing Deschutes County residents are leaving to replicate the Bend or Redmond of 10 years ago, heading for less populous states, Idaho (#5) and Montana (#7). Check out the full list at xxxxx. IN DESCHUTES COUNTY, LOCATIONS OF…. Incoming Residents Outgoing Residents State % State % CA 41% CA 17% AZ 10% WA 8% WA 7% CO 7% TX 5% AZ 6% CO 3% ID 4% OTHER 34% OTHER 58%

Rank 1 2 3 4 5

AUGUST ISSUE OF OUTSIDE MAGAZINE FEATURES BEND Look for the August issue of Outside Magazine, which will hit the newsstands in late July. This is the second article this year from the publication that features Bend and its lifestyle attractions. INTRODUCING A GREAT NEW RESOURCE, FDIC’S NEW QUARTERLY BANKING PROFILE Check out the first issue of the FDIC Quarterly. This new publication brings together data and analyses that were previously available through three publications -- the FDIC Outlook, FDIC Banking Review, and the FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile. Each issue of the FDIC Quarterly will provide a comprehensive summary of the most current financial results for the banking industry, ranging from timely analysis of economic and banking trends at the national and regional level that may affect the risk exposure of FDIC-insured institutions to research on issues affecting the banking system and the development of regulatory policy. Two items caught this editor’s eye: a story that indicates mortgage activity is no longer contributing to asset growth –a sign perhaps that the subprime rat is working its way through the mortgage snake. The second story deals with the efficiency gap between large and small banking institutions, which is growing. One wonders: what does that mean for Central Oregon banking? You can download the new publication as a PDF http://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/quarterly/2007_vol1/quarterly_jun07_web.pdf HARVARD SAYS IT'S TOO EARLY TO TELL WHEN HOUSING SLUMP WILL END Economists at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University aren’t entirely sure how long it will take for the current industry correction to run its course, but they say that once market balance is restored, the outlook becomes “brighter” and even “upbeat” over the longer term. With the downturn now in full swing, measuring the size of the inventory overhang of unsold new homes is crucial to predicting the depth and duration of the downturn, according to State of the Nation’s Housing 2007. “Much depends on what happens with the economy, interest rates and credit availability,” the Harvard report says. “But it also depends importantly on just how much demand was inflated during the housing market run-up and how fast builders can work off the oversupply of homes.”

For more details, visit the website http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/ or download the 2007 publication: http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/publications/markets/son2007/index.htm ENERGY EFFICIENCY INCENTIVES AVAILABLE Are you tapped into available energy efficiency funds? Resources are available that aren’t predicated on employee growth. Upgrading plant equipment cannot only save on your electric bill, you can get assistance with its purchase. When lighting needs improving or a variable speed drive motor installation can enhance your production, there is help available. The Energy Trust program offers financial assistance for both retrofits and new construction where equipment above minimum efficiency code requirements is installed. Contact Ross Finney at RHT Energy Solutions, 541-944-8879 for replacement equipment and Ann Wagner, Energy Trust, 503-243-2074 on new construction. The program is limited to Pacific Power customers who contribute to its funding. INVESTORS AT JUNE’S PUBTALK OFFER A RANGE OF VIEWPOINTS We received rave reviews on the recap of Rene Fritz’s PubTalk, so offer highlights from our June investment panel below. As one might expect, panelists represented views from their corner of the investment world. Our thanks to moderator Wayne Embree, Managing Partner of Cascade Partners, for leading the discussion. Robin Gould, Angel Investor  The most likely result of investing in a start-up is bankruptcy; that’s why the angel investor wants a piece of the action. (Wryly: otherwise, a T-bill offers a better, safer return.)  Get expectations on both sides (angel and entrepreneur) out on the table. The angel should bring far more - such as industry expertise, mentoring -- to the table than dollars.  Regarding how to deal with the reality that a start-up’s financial projections are rarely right: Keep expectations conservative and develop contingency plans.  Regarding the worst mistake in asking for money: no follow-up after an exchange of ideas and business cards.  “Our company can do it cheaper/faster/better” is a far more attractive proposition than “We can do something better.” Mike Osborn, Start-up Veteran  Be really sure you want OPM (Other People’s Money). Once you have it, you cannot turn back.  Regarding how to deal with the reality that a start-up’s financial projections are rarely right: Resist the temptation in the business plan to be too aggressive. You have to live with at least the first year’s projections (hopefully more)!  Regarding the worst mistake in asking for money: Founders and entrepreneurs fall in love with the product, but don’t do the analysis. They don’t understand the market and who will buy the product.  Osborn provides a helpful reference document, 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Ask Others For Money…, available at: http://www.mikeosborn.net/jun07pubtalkpanel.html Vic Petroff, Riverlake Partners (LBO)  His firm looks for situations where they can bring something to the table with management – perhaps a situation where management has been too risk averse. He also looks for management that he can work with to get them to see things differently.  Regarding the worst mistake in asking for money: no sensitivity analysis on pivotal points. He frequently sees no backup plan. Another mistake is no thought has been given to an exit strategy. Wayne Embree, Venture Capitalist

 

“We have no competition” is the equivalent of “We have no market.” He likes to see ideas that overcome the status quo and come with complete understanding of the industry channel. Those are ideas that don’t necessarily need or benefit from patent protection.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Individual Level Members Dara Smith, COLM Commercial An Alaska native but Bend resident for a dozen years, Dara Smith shifted her business career a year ago to focus on commercial real estate. She’s been with COLM Commercial for a year and specializes in office, retail, and industrial leasing. While gaining traction with a number of industrial clients, Smith is helping several non-profit organizations find office space. Smith says it is increasingly difficult for Bend’s numerous non profit organizations to find appropriate office space, causing some to relocate to less expensive communities in the region. But some, like Bend-based Sparrow Club with national operations, don’t have the option to move outside of Bend so Smith is donating her commission to the Sparrow Club in order to ensure the non-profit stays in the area. Dara is also the newest member of the EDCO Membership Committee. To contact Smith, call COLM Commercial at 541-585-2445 or email her at dara@colmcommericial.com Bronze Level Members RL Allen Group, LLC If you could put a face to Madras, it’s likely Rick Allen would come to mind. The former Mayor and County Commissioner and tireless champion of the Madras community is credited with bringing the Deer Ridge Correctional facility to the town, “blight removal” through a new urban renewal district, and new Jefferson Park Business Center near the airport. Since his so-called retirement from public service, Allen has turned his attention to the RL Allen Group, which encompasses his numerous activities in Madras. He works primarily as a commercial broker for Lowe’s Commercial Properties, as a development consultant, and as a lobbyist for the Ponderosa Land & Cattle Co.’s proposed Jefferson County destination resort. Beyond that, Allen has a half share in a new light industrial flex space complex, interests in the downtown redevelopment, and owns the local Radio Shack. “It’s our turn for an upgrade,” says Allen about improving Madras’s image. “We’re providing investors with an alternative to Bend.” That’s an understatement from a man who clearly has both passion and vision to make Madras and Jefferson County a great place to live and work. LEGISLATURE WRAPS UP THE SESSION – RECAP OF BUSINESS/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT-PERTINENT BILLS Over the past six months, EDCO has provided information about numerous bills being considered by our legislators in Salem that may have an impact on the state or regional business climate or on the tools available for economic development. The EDCO Legislative Committee has also met throughout the session to discuss proposed legislation as well to focus on a strategy to help our regional issue of transportation infrastructure. As of the writing of this newsletter, here are the bills EDCO tracked that were approved and/or signed into law that we thought you might want to know about: SB 838 Renewable Portfolio Standard – requires 25% of power provided by major investor-owned utilities serving Oregon to be renewables by 2025. The impact on power prices for this mandate is not yet known, and won’t likely be clear for years to come.

HB 2891 Unionization Without Vote – allows unions to represent workers with a majority sign up without requiring a vote or election process. This was a bill supported by major union lobby groups to expedite unionization through union sign-up cards rather than by the democratic process of elections. HB 2707 Diversion of Corporate Kicker – temporarily shifts “corporate kicker” rebates to a new rainy day fund for public capital construction projects for public education. This bill was certainly a primary component of this year’s Democratic-controlled assembly, but the bill passed through both the House and Senate with little opposition. HB 2278 Connect Oregon II – unanimously approved in both the House and Senate, the bill authorizes sale of $100 million in lotterybacked bonds to pay for air, rail, marine and public transit-related improvements. EDCO is hopeful that a portion of this funding will be used for improving a rail tunnel between the Port of Portland and the Central Oregon region to allow for double-stacking of shipping containers. HB 2140 Prevailing Wage Requirement – this legislation (also known as the Public/Private Partnership Bill), will require projects receiving more than $750,000 in public funds or 25% of public ownership to trigger prevailing wages for construction. Unions and the Bureau of Labor & Industries were the main proponents of the bill. Some important amendments included an exemption for certain affordable housing projects and within the selected jurisdictions of Hillsboro, Salem, Gresham and Portland Metro. Apparently what is good for the rest of the state is not good for those metro areas. EDCO has closely watched this bill for several reasons, including the possible applicability to incentives (public funds) used for economic development projects across Oregon. HB 151 Enterprise Zone Program - this bill extends the current statewide program from its current termination date of June 30, 2009 to June 30, 2013. As part of the bill, the Legislature will conduct a cost-benefit study on the program for report to the 2009 assembly. Concerning to EDCO is that a committee structure to oversee and review the required study is stacked with interest groups focused on changing or eliminating the program, which is one of the most useful economic development tools available in Oregon. SB 5036 Fund Administering Community Development – in a last minute maneuver by the Committee on Ways & Means, $21.43 million was added back to lottery bonding authority for the Oregon Economic & Community Development Dept. (OECDD). The Governor and Department had recommended $100 million in bonds which had, up to the change, been zeroed out in the state budget. The funding will be used for public improvement projects including sewer, water, transportation and industrial site infrastructure. Additionally, there were some other interesting late-hour financial deals made that included:  An amendment to SB 944 to transfer $4.6 million in customer-paid funds from the Oregon Energy Trust to retire debt at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry;  HB 5549 removed $400,000 from Department of Land and Development which was for contract services to support the Big Look Task Force established by the Governor to evaluate and provide suggestions for update to Oregon’s land use system; and  Partial funding of $2 million (down from $11.7 million recommended by the Governor) from the lottery was provided to recapitalize the Rural/Regional Investment Fund, which has been the source for EDCO’s Business Development Opportunity Fund. The Opportunity Fund has been used as a tool to recruit manufacturing, high tech and other traded-sector employers as well as to help local companies in this sector grow. Apparently the Legislature will consider adding back funding to the program when it reconvenes in February. PENDING RECRUITMENT, RETENTION & EXPANSION PROJECTS

In spring of this year, eCon Update elected to update this column on a periodic basis as opposed to monthly. Those who work in the business development field, and certainly the economic development arena, understand that most projects take many months -- or more typically years -- to come together. Look for the next update in our August newsletter. FEEDBACK We love to hear your thoughts and comments about this electronic newsletter and ways to improve it. Just fire back a response. Once again, thank you for your support and interest - we are working hard to make the most of your contributions to help strengthen and diversify the regional economy!

Economic Development For Central Oregon
20380 Halfway Road, Suite 3, Bend, OR 97701 (541) 388-3236 or (800) 342-4135


								
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