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ChangeXchange Northwest

NEOEDD Receives Grant to Develop Community Capital in NE Oregon

NEOEDD is pleased to announce that The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) has awarded it $15,000 to support development of a “local financing ecosystem” to meet the needs of businesses and citizens in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. NEOEDD was also invited to apply for additional OCF funds in 2014. The grant comes from two OCF funds, the Miller Charitable Fund and the Ward Family Fund.

“These funds will help us bring investing education and tools to the region in the coming year,” says NEOEDD Executive Director Lisa Dawson. “Economic and community-development partners have laid some important groundwork, but there’s a lot more to do to connect investors and entrepreneurs.”

“Community Capital” gives local citizens the option to divert money from the global stock market (which does not benefit the region) into NE Oregon businesses. NEOEDD is part of the NE Oregon Community Capital Collaborative, a group of fouteen organizations working in conjunction with Springboard Innovation and its online platform, ChangeXchange Northwest, to launch a community capital program in NE Oregon. The Community Capital project is not an NEOEDD-sponsored investment fund, but a program of training and technical assistance to enable individuals to enter into legal investment arrangements with entrepreneurs and businesses of their choice.

“This program moves toward creating permanent, mutually beneficial relationships between community members who have capital and small-business owners who need capital to establish or grow their businesses,” says Dawson. “We want to see a region that is full of engaged citizen-investors and vibrant, creative and successful business enterprises.”

The Community Capital Collaborative is seeking additional partners, and volunteers for the following teams: Leadership, Marketing and Communications, Local Loyalty Point System, Local Impact Investing Opportunity Network (LIION), Education, and Event-Planning. If you are interested in getting involved, or want more information, please contact Lisa Dawson at lisadawson@neoedd.org, 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454.