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Save the dates!

Rural Oregon's nonprofit organizations are exploring how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can build understanding, strengthen mission impact, and ensure public benefit. To this end, NEOEDD is organizing a series of roundtable discussions for regional nonprofit board and staff to learn, share, and discuss DEI methods and strategies. The next roundtable will be held Feb. 7, May 2, Aug. 1, and Nov. 7, 2018, and Feb. 6, 2019. Details forthcoming.

The sessions include lunch.The cost to attend is $25 per person per roundtable discussion; with a series price of $125. Scholarships are available; please inquire at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598. Registration here.

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.

11 Dec 2017, 11:12 am

Back by popular demand: "GrantReady" organizational development and grant-writing training provides tools and skills needed to help nonprofits become more competitive for grant funding, and better prepared to operate and evaluate their programs and projects. NEOEDD plans to offer this series on the following Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

GrantReady consists of four training sessions for volunteers and staff members of nonprofit organizations. Topics include:

  •     Organizational and project budgeting
  •     Components of a grant proposal
  •     Funding plan
  •     Evaluation methods
  •     Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
  •     Board relations
  •     Foundation site visits
  •     Grant reporting

Lunch will be provided. The cost for the series is $100 for the first participant from each nonprofit, with a discounted rate of $50 for each additional participant. Registration links are here for Enterprise and here for Baker City.

“Participants will also meet staff from several foundations, who will provide insights into their foundations and what they are looking for in a grant proposal,” says NEOEDD Executive Director Lisa Dawson. “This is a great opportunity for them to begin to make personal contacts in the nonprofit world.”

What past participants have said about GrantReady:

  •     “Learning about the different types of grants, (i.e., “Capacity Building,” etc.) was invaluable. Learning the correct budget submission for a grant proposal. Learning about “In-Kind” costs to add to the budget package.  Really, there is so much I learned from your class that I can’t praise it enough. I could not learn this same information any other way.”
  •     “The resource packets are phenomenally helpful.”
  •     “I benefited from listening to other nonprofits in the class as they discussed their issues. Priceless.”
  •     “The feedback on my grant proposal was invaluable. What a terrific opportunity to learn exactly what a grantor is looking for gives me confidence that I can propose a successful grant package.”
  •     “All of the slides and handouts are going in my permanent files. Their content is excellent in directing my energy in the right direction. And I really appreciate the resources, such as the list of grant awarding businesses.”

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.

11 Dec 2017, 11:10 am

Thanks to a multi-year grant from Meyer Memorial Trust, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) outreach specialist Kristy Athens is conducting a food hub feasibility survey for Wallowa County.

“We have so much food production here in the county, and most of it is exported instead of consumed,” says Kristy. “I want to explore options that could increase access to locally grown food crops, and also add value to crops, which could boost the local economy.”

A "food hub" is a business or organization that can provide any number of services to local farmers and ranchers, including cooler or freezer storage, washing/cutting/packaging, and distribution to wholesale purchasers. Aggregation can support smaller producers, who alone cannot provide the volume of food needed by most wholesale customers, such as grocery stores, schools, and restaurants. Keeping more of the food that is grown in Wallowa County in the county increases access to fresh, nutritious produce and meat, and makes our economy more resilient--meaning we're less reliant on outside supplies. You can learn more about food hubs at

Athens seeks input from two specific groups. The first group is producers—the farmers and ranchers who grow food in the county—survey here:
The second group is wholesale purchasers—the restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, manufacturers that purchase, process and/or sell agricultural products—survey here:

If it's appropriate, readers may take more than one survey, but they may take each only once. Share widely with your producer and buyer friends! If you have questions, contact Athens at or 541-426-3598.

28 Sep 2017, 9:18 am

More than 125 people in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties have helped finance their higher education or small business using the Individual Development Account (IDA) program, offered by Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD). IDAs provide a 3-to-1 savings match—someone who saves $1,000 and completes the program will receive an additional $3,000. Up to $12,000 total! Most savers are adults, but children 12 years or older who live in households with low-to-moderate incomes are also eligible to enroll.

For example, a 15-year-old saving for college could enroll in the program, save money for three years and graduate high school with a funds for tuition and fees at any accredited education program. Youth can also save to start or improve a business.  

“The IDA program is not a grant, it’s an earned incentive coupled with goal-setting, education and practical experience saving over a period of 6 to 36 months,” says NEOEDD’s executive director, Lisa Dawson. “It’s essentially a financial-responsibility program. The matched funds can put a good dent into a northeast Oregonian’s higher education bill, or pay for the equipment, signage, computer, or other investments needed to launch or improve a business.”

NEOEDD has leveraged more than a half-million dollars that have circulated into our region via the IDA program. Once accepted, program participants receive free education or business-planning and money-management classes, helping them build fiscal responsibility and saving habits that can last a lifetime.

The 2017 income limits for eligibility and other information for the program is here.

14 Sep 2017, 8:40 am

NEOEDD offers a free, six-week workshop series to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners build the basis for a successful enterprise. Register by Jun. 23 to reserve your seat in Wallowa, Elgin, Baker City, or La Grande. But, don’t wait—class size is limited!

Lisa Dawson has taught the Business Foundations program for more than ten years, and her students—existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties—continue to give her rave reviews. This hands-on class covers the basics of running a successful business: overhead and variable costs, goal-setting and sales projections, marketing, and other considerations, and brings it all together in a business plan.

Best of all, thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, the classes are offered free of charge!

Workshops take place:
• Wallowa: Mondays, Jul. 10 – Aug. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Wallowa City Hall, 104 N Pine St.
• Elgin: Tuesdays, Jul. 11 – Aug. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Elgin Depot, 300 Depot St.
• Baker City: Wednesdays, Jul. 12 – Aug. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. at HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St.
• La Grande: Thursdays, Jun. 29 – Aug. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 1215 Adams Ave.
To register, call NEOEDD by Friday, Jun. 23 at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification will be required.

The workshops last six weeks, with the following topics:
• Gaining Perspective: View business concept from a high altitude in order to define vision, set priorities, and get a good look at the main topics to be addressed.
• Laying the Foundation: Define line of business and analyze financial essentials, from overhead costs to break-even points.
• Getting into the Flow: Cover the financial bases of cash flow, sales forecasting, and financial documents.
• Mission & Markets: Revisit mission, discuss market research, identify and assess competitors, and target markets.
• Get the Word Out: Discuss creative marketing strategies and give peer feedback on product, or marketing materials.
• Goodbye & Good Luck: Present business plans and generate next steps.

Here’s what former class participants have to say about the Foundations class:
• “[I appreciated Lisa’s] low-key and helpful attitude, and her desire to help each of us regardless of our business choices.” –Participant in Halfway
• “I hadn’t looked at break-even point, overhead costs, and marketing costs before this class.” –Participant in Enterprise
• “[I valued] being able to get a grasp on my business intentions and the necessary work involved to be successful.” –Participant in Baker City

11 Jul 2017, 12:38 pm

Are you a small-business owner who seeks basic legal information? Learn about the factors that you should be taking into account as you make decisions, including how to hire a professional service provider.

The workshops will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.:
• May 22: Cook Memorial Library Meeting Room, 2006 4th St. in La Grande
• May 23: HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St. in Baker City
• May 31: Fishtrap, 400 E Grant St. in Enterprise
Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, these workshops are offered free of charge!

This workshop will include the following topics:
• Benefits and downsides of various legal structures: Sole Proprietorship, LLCs, S-Corporations, B-Corporations, Partnerships
• Liability and how legal structures may reduce risks, the relationship between legal structures and raising money through an equity offering, common mistakes new businesses make regarding structure choices
• Rules of thumb for businesses in different industries
• Trademarks and patents: what does a business need to know, when should they seek help?
• Employment law: wage and hour requirements and workplace protections
• Bylaws and operating agreements
• How to hire an attorney
Presenters are Wyatt S. Baum (La Grande and Baker City) and Sadie Kennedy (Enterprise). To register, call Kristy at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email at Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification will be required.

7 Jun 2017, 8:27 am

26 Apr 2017, 3:06 pm

“Alpine” focuses on business owners who are at a crossroads

NEOEDD is bringing Annie Milroy Price of Birds Eye Business Planning and Consulting to NE Oregon for a three-day intensive workshop retreat for business owners called “Alpine.” The retreat will take place on Wallowa Lake from Thursday, Apr. 27 through Saturday, Apr. 29. Register by Wednesday, Apr. 19 to reserve your seat.

“Alpine is for people who are beyond the hobby phase,” says Price. “They have actual numbers to work with. They are facing some decision-making in their business. They would like to have a cohort experience to look at their business’s past, tackle present challenges, and make plans for the future.” 

In addition to creating Alpine, Price was the lead designer of the Business Foundations class that has proven extremely popular in NE Oregon. NEOEDD Executive Director Lisa Dawson presents Business Foundations to dozens of local entrepreneurs every year. “We are so excited to have Annie come here to facilitate this retreat and explore participants’ business opportunities and needs,” says Dawson. “NEOEDD staff have worked with her in the past, and we’ve found her inspirational.”

To register, call NEOEDD by Wednesday, Apr. 19 at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification will be required. Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, the workshop portion of the retreat is offered free of charge! There is a required catering fee of $55 to cover cost of meals; payment must be received by Apr. 19 in order to attend. People with low-to-moderate incomes can request a scholarship to waive half of this fee. Lodging is also available; see registration link for more details:

24 Apr 2017, 1:18 pm

PDF of RFP is here

PDF of site map is here

PDF of Addendum is here


The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD also referred to as “the District”) is seeking a general contractor to remodel a portion of the historic firehouse in La Grande. The project will include some demolition, painting, plumbing, electrical work and flooring.

Bids for the described project will be received by the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District at 101 NE First Street, Suite 100, Enterprise, OR 97828 or with a deadline of 2:00 p.m. April 6, at which time the Bids received will be publicly opened and read.
The contract will be awarded by April 17, 2017, with a project completion date of not later than July 7, 2017, for the Base Bid items. Additional time may be provided for Added Alternatives.

The Issuing Office for the Bidding Documents is:
Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, 101 NE First Street, Suite 100, Enterprise, OR 97828.
Prospective Bidders may examine the Bidding Documents at the City of La Grande, Community and Economic Development, 1000 Adams Avenue, La Grande, Oregon on Mondays through Fridays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Prospective Bidders may also request the bidding documents via e-mail from

You will be able to view the remodeling site at the historic firehouse by appointment. To tour the site please contact Lisa Dawson at: 541-426-3598 or 541-432-1056 (mobile) or Christine Jarski at (541) 962-1307 for visitation at the following dates and times:
March 15 – 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
March 23 – 3:00 – 5:15 p.m.
If you are unable to visit the site at either of the times listed above, please contact either Lisa or Christine to arrange another time.

Contractors must be registered with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board and have a public works bond. As the contract will be for less than $50,000, prevailing wages are not required.

The District reserves the right to accept any Proposal or to reject any or all Proposals.

Scope of Work
The general contractor will be responsible for completing the work to include but not limited to hiring and managing the work of any subcontractors and obtaining all necessary permits. NEOEDD, with input from the City of La Grande Urban Renewal Staff, will approve fixtures and color selections.
The project includes the following components:
Base Bid Items:
1. Remove the partition walls in the Assembly Area.
2. Remove partition walls at Office-1 to open space to entry door.
3. Remove the built-in desks in the Assembly Area.
4. Provide new electrical in Assembly Area to include new floor plugs, overhead lighting and wiring for audio visual and computer presentation equipment.
5. Install lighted exit signs at each exterior door. Install “bug-eye” lighting at each exit. Install emergency back-up lighting per plans.
6. Construct a new wall in the Unisex Handicapped Bathroom and a one-hour fire rated wall – or occupancy separation – in the hallway in the Assembly Area.
7. Remove the existing floor coverings and replace them throughout the building with Mannington vinyl, Entwined series, Saber lead white, ETW453.
8. Install Fire Doors where indicated on the attached drawings.
9. Paint all walls and ceilings.
Added Alternatives:
10. Remodel one existing bathroom to ADA Standards. Remove existing fixtures and counters and replace with new fixtures in both bathrooms.
11. Install hanging mechanism for television and lockable cabinet for audio visual accessories. Budget $250 for lockable cabinet to be selected at a later date.
12. Remove the existing drop ceiling in Assembly Area.
13. Replace the lighting in the Assembly Area with industrial-type contemporary lighting complementary to that used in Side A Brewing.
14. Provide 1 hour fire separation on ceiling of the Assembly Area.
15. Remove drop ceiling and provide a 1 hour fire rated barrier – or occupancy separation – on the ceiling of the Reception Area.
16. Remove existing lighting in Reception Area and replace with lighting similar to Assembly Area.
Bids shall include a lump sum price for the Base Bid (items 1-9) and separate prices for each Added Alternative (items 10-16).
Selection Factors:
Proposals will be evaluated for cost, completeness, timeline and approach. The proposals will also be evaluated on the proposer’s relevant experience and expertise to complete the job. The contract will be awarded to the responsive and capable bidder who can complete the most items within available funding and timeframe. No contract will be awarded to a contractor who has been disbarred.
Bid Format
Contractor Name:___________________________________________________
Contact Name:______________________________________________________
Phone Number:_____________________________________________________
Fixed price for Items 1-9:______________________________________________
Additional costs for Item 10:____________________________________________
Additional costs for Item 11:____________________________________________
Additional costs for Item 12:____________________________________________
Additional costs for Item 13:____________________________________________
Additional costs for Item 14:____________________________________________
Additional costs for Item 15:____________________________________________
Additional costs for Item 16:____________________________________________
Please specify the number of days proposed for completion of the Base Bid items; additional days required for the completion of each additive item – 9-15; and total timeline for completion of the Base Bid and all Added Alternatives if award includes all 15 items.
Please provide two references for work completed on similar jobs

10 Apr 2017, 10:35 am

NEOEDD and WorkSource Oregon offer a free workshop to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners understand the legal considerations of hiring employees—what’s required and recommended, and best practices. Register by Mar. 31 to reserve your seat in Baker City, La Grande, or Enterprise.

Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, the workshop is offered free of charge!

Workshop takes place:
• Enterprise:  Tuesday, Apr. 4; 6 to 9 p.m. at Fishtrap, 400 E Grant St.
• Baker City:  Wednesday, Apr. 5; 6 to 9 p.m. at Hatch Baker, 2019 Main St.
• Baker City:  Thursday, Apr. 6; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Hatch Baker, 2019 Main St.
• La Grande: Thursday, Apr. 6; 6 to 9 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 1215 Adams Ave.

To register, call NEOEDD by Friday, Mar. 31 at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification will be required.

The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about our programs and business support at

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4 Apr 2017, 10:20 am