During these unparalleled COVID-19 times, we have worked every day within CEDR and the Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center to assist our business community with advising, support, workforce training and education, advocacy and a passionate voice at the table for Clatsop County businesses with local, regional, state and federal partners.

We are in our annual membership recruitment time, and invite individuals and businesses to join Clatsop Economic Development Resources to support the work we do to build and rebuild the economy in Clatsop County. The information in this article recaps the work our team and partners have done during this devastating COVID-19 year to support our small and large business community. We are also hopeful going into 2021 as we enter the “recovery phase” with a vaccine just around the corner.

CCC Small Business Development Center Results: 2020 Year-to-Date

Clatsop Community College SBDC:

Met with 254 clients in free and confidential advising sessions. We will end 2020 serving almost double the amount of clients served in 2019.

Over 50 live and “on-demand” courses have been offered, with 2,200 registrants. (2019 had 341 participants!) Since COVID-19 started, we have not charged for any workshops. CEDR member support has assisted in funding these courses, along with generous sponsorship from Oregon State University Extension and Wauna Credit Union.

Assisted in securing $3,166,930 in financing for local businesses, including Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program funding for our business community.

Promoted lead advisor Jessica Newhall to associate director, hired Leah Olson as the Clatsop SBDC program development specialist, hired Meyer Freeman as a part-time advisor the week before COVID-19 hit, Sarah Lambert as the QuickBooks advisor and expert, and continuing the position with Hermes Ochoa serving the Latinx business community.

CEDR member financial support was instrumental in funding these additions to our team.

CEDR YTD Highlights

When COVID-19 hit, CEDR jumped in immediately and was designated the lead economic response and recovery organization for all of Clatsop County. Some examples include:

• Serving on the North Coast Economic Recovery team under the NW Oregon Regional Solutions office of Governor Kate Brown.

• Clatsop County designated CEDR as the Federal (SBA) economic recovery organization, and for the first several month of the pandemic weekly meetings were held with Clatsop County Partners that included health care, school districts, Chamber of Commerce, law enforcement, elected officials, regional solutions, and more.

• CEDR is on the Economic Development and Workforce Partners Committee, with colleagues from Tillamook, Columbia, Western Washington County and the Col-Pac (Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District), meeting weekly and now bi-weekly to discuss roadblocks facing our business community, with a solutions-minded approach at every meeting.

• Recently, the Governor’s office has established a North Coast Regional Equity in Recovery Council, and I was appointed to that council to help the under-served in our communities.

CEDR organized ZOOM meetings with all Clatsop and Northern Tillamook County city managers, Clatsop County manager and assistant county manager, Business Oregon, Regional Solutions and other partners. In the first several months, the group met weekly to share updates and Best Practices and has been instrumental in keeping the collaborative lines of communication active through the pandemic.

CEDR is managing the COVID-19 Small Business Grant program from the State of Oregon (CARES Act Funding) that has assisted 259 businesses in Clatsop County with $1,259,000 in critically needed funds. Meyer Freeman serves as the CEDR grants manager, and CEDR member support helps pay the administrative fees through the first grant rounds. CEDR also served as the recommendation committee for the City of Seaside on grants funded by the city early in the pandemic.

CEDR has been contracted by Clatsop County to manage $852,000 in funding from the State of Oregon and CARES Act Federal funding to provide more financial grants for the small business community, with specific details being worked out as this article is being written.

The CEDR Clatsop WORKS paid internship program continued this year, with Ryan Stanley spearheading the program as the coordinator. We had 18 summer interns this summer, with 11 employers, and are currently working with all school districts to launch a “hybrid” program for our high school and college students in January 2021 with several local businesses participating.

CEDR’s operating budget is funded by multiple sources, including our public-sector funders SBA (Small Business Administration), Business Oregon, Clatsop County, Clatsop Community College, the cities of Astoria, Seaside, Warrenton, Gearhart and Cannon Beach, Port of Astoria, and Sunset Empire Transportation District, but additional funding from the private sector is required to carry out the work fully possible, generating an even more powerful impact.

One example is we provide free and confidential advising, but our advisors are paid, so as we increase the number of clients served, funding needs to increase to pay for that. And as you can see by the numbers shared earlier in this letter, we have significantly increased our advising during these unparalleled COVID-19 times.

For more information on the levels of membership available, or to answer any questions, please email cedr@clatsopcc.edu or call me at 503-338-2402.

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