This month, Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency to get your feedback. The survey ends on Nov. 23. Before you fill out the survey at this link you might want to check out the following.
Odds are you will not be familiar with many of the services that are listed in the survey. I certainly wasn’t. So I did some searching.
Below is what I could extract from the Business Oregon website (in a reasonable amount of time) to understand the services mentioned in the survey. The terminology in the survey is not always consistent with terminology in the website – so if you spend the time searching, your search may come up with different results! But this will give you some idea of what programs the survey might be talking about.
These are listed in the same order as they appear in the survey. It’s certainly a good idea for entrepreneurs to be aware of all of these services.
Which of these programs have helped your business? And what programs did I leave out?
Access to Capital
The Oregon Capital Access (CAP) Program helps lenders (banks and credit unions) make more commercial loans to small businesses and provides capital for start-up or expansion. The program is designed for non-profit and for-profit businesses seeking funds for most business purposes.
All types of loans and lines of credit are eligible. Lenders build a loan-loss reserve each time they enroll a loan. Contributions to the loan-loss reserve account are matched by Oregon Capital Access Program.
• have enrollment fees between 3% and 7% as determined by the financial institution,
• will receive a match on the enrollment fee of up to $35,000 per borrower and
• have rates and terms for repayment determined by the lender.
CAP loans may not be used to:
• purchase or improve residential housing,
• purchase or improve real property not used for business operations or
• refinance an existing balance of a non-enrolled loan.
There are other programs Business Oregon has that might fall into the ‘Access to Capital’ category – like angel fund investments by the Oregon Growth Fund, or the startup investments from Oregon BEST and ONAMI. Or – maybe the latter fit into the “Early Stage Capital” category (see below). It is a bit ambiguous.
Consulting & Overseas Assistance
Help for existing Oregon businesses to grow their companies by accessing overseas markets is available from professionals located here in Oregon, as well as from the state’s trade representatives in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Financial Assistance & International Trade Shows
Partner Services & Exporting Basics
Business Oregon partners with government partners as well as non-profit partners to help make sure that Oregon businesses have access to all the tools, services and other export financing required to succeed in the global marketplace.
EB-5 Visa Program
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa is a federal program available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. Business Oregon is the designated authority within the state of Oregon to certify geographic areas or political subdivisions that qualify for the program.
Industrial land is one of the state’s most valuable resources in terms of net contributions to the state’s economy and tax base. The traded sector firms that locate on industrial land are an engine of expansion, spurring growth in the service sector and paying family wages to a broad spectrum of workers.
Find a Location
Already know what type of property you need? Business Oregon has partnered with other economic development organizations across the state in order to provide a database of certified sites, along with other available industrial land and buildings, at www.oregonprospector.com.
Shovel Ready Certification
Oregon’s Shovel Ready Certification Program is recognized as one of the most comprehensive in the country. It is a rigorous program that is trusted by the market and has been a factor in many of the state’s largest employment successes. Oregon’s certified sites are ready for construction within six months or less and are verified “project-ready” for specific industry profiles.
Applications to the program are accepted in April and September each year by submitting a commitment letter and supplemental reports. Sites that have been Shovel Ready Certified must apply for recertification every two years. Recertifaction applications are accepted in January each year.
The 2011 Legislature created the Economic Recovery Review Council (ERRC) and two programs that streamline the process to ready industrial lands for business. One program focuses on up to 10 projects per biennium that may be subjected to an expedited process when job creation, wage and other criteria are met. The second manages industrial areas regionally where between five and 15 areas planned and zoned for industrial use that have potential long-term job creation and meet other criteria that must be maintained for employment uses. Learn more >>
A brownfield is property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination. Oregon’s Brownfields programs range in activities from site assessment to cleanup for properties where known or suspected environmental contamination is a barrier to redevelopment. Learn more >>
Business Oregon helps facilitate the deployment and utilization of telecommunications infrastructure to support innovation, create economic opportunities and build quality communities throughout Oregon.
Oregon has a world-class telecommunications infrastructure extending throughout the state. Multiple fiber optic backbone networks with diverse routing provide excellent network reliability and connectivity statewide. Learn more >>
For additional infrastructure information see the programs administered by the Infrastructure Finance Authority.
Rural Entrepreneurship Development Initiative
Public-private partnership to improve and increase rural access to entrepreneurial and small business resources.
Oregon Small Business Development Center Network (SBDCN)
The SBDCN is a partnership between 17 Oregon community colleges, two state universities, the US Small Business Administration and Business Oregon and is part of the broader national network of Small Business Development Centers.
The Oregon network provides a variety of services and training to small businesses and entrepreneurs such as business plan development and other necessary first steps toward establishing and growing your business in Oregon. The network has 19 centers located around the state that provide help to businesses at virtually every stage of development. Many of these services are provided free of charge because of the support of the network sponsors. The centers also provide some low-cost trainings, online courses and other specialized services.
The Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC) was created to help entrepreneurs turn cutting-edge research into new companies. Its initiatives help open the door to hard-to-find capital; provide Oregon businesses with access to otherwise out-of-reach R&D labs and researchers; and show established industries how innovation can revitalize their products and their profits.
Talent & Workforce
Business Oregon connects businesses and Community colleges regularly in response to requests from business and industry for specialized training. The colleges contract directly with firms, and training programs take place either on campus or at the business site. In addition, consulting services, workshops and assistance with business plans are provided through Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), often located on or near a community college.
Small Business Financing
Loans & Loan Guarantees
The following business finance programs are backed by lottery dollars and include direct loan and loan guarantees.
• Oregon Business Development Fund (OBDF) provides direct loans that leverage private capital and provides incentives for businesses to expand or locate in Oregon.
• Oregon Capital Access Program (CAP) provides a form of loan portfolio loss reserve so financial institutions may make business loans that carry higher than conventional risks while complying with federal and state banking regulations.
• Oregon Credit Enhancement Fund (CEF) provides loan guarantees to financial institutions in order to increase capital availability to small businesses.
• Oregon Industrial Development Bonds (IDB) are available to manufacturing projects, exempt facilities and nonprofit organizations to provide access to capital primarily for value-added manufacturing.
• Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund (EDLF) offers direct loans to help start-ups, micro-enterprises and small businesses expand or become established in Oregon.
• Angel funding support and opportunities.
• Aggie Bonds (Beginning and Expanding Farmer Loan Program) provides new farmers tax-exempt financing for capital purchases.
• Business Expansion Program is a cash incentive based on the estimated increase in new personal income tax revenue resulting from the new hires from the expansion or relocation project.
• Business Retention Services Program is designed to help private sector companies with multi-industry expertise in finance, marketing, operations, turnarounds, restructurings, feasibility studies, etc.
• Small Business Credit Initiative is a federal initiative capitalizing several agency finance programs.
• Oregon New Market Tax Credit delivers below-market-rate investment options to Oregon businesses and creates jobs in low-income communities.
• Brownfields Redevelopment assists by providing financing for activities from site assessment to cleanup for propertieswhere known or suspected environmental contamination is a barrier to redevelopment.
• Western Juniper Industry Fund assists businesses with manufacturing products from Wester Juniper.
◦ loans for capital investment and working capital
◦ grants for professional expertise with business plan/development, marketing
Community Infrastructure Assistance
See “Infrastructure” above. I’m not at all clear on what programs fit specifically in the “Community Infrastructure” category.
See “Global trade” above.
Business Retention and expansion Services Program
The Oregon Business Retention and Expansion Services program has served Oregon businesses for more than a decade. The program, administered by Business Oregon, offers consulting services to Oregon companies facing difficult times. The consulting services are delivered by some of the best and most experienced private sector consultants in the state. A consultant is matched with a company based on specific needs and industry requirements. The maximum benefits are $15,000 for consulting services and $30,000 for feasibility studies.
Business Recruitment Services
The team at business Oregon provides a variety of services to grow business and communities across Oregon. Visit the How We Can Help page for a full description of programs and services we have to help businesses. Related to business expansion into Oregon, the Business Oregon recruitment team helps companies looking to relocate or expand into the state, helping to:
– identify Oregon sites that meet size, utility, distribution, infrastructure and workforce requirements
– discuss client needs with all of the players—state and local governments and private utilities—in a collaborative approach to get projects moving
– identify business incentives, financial resources and workforce programs
– identify potential Oregon vendors, distributors, patrons, etc.
Once you’re here, we provide Oregon businesses with consulting and project development assistance, supply, R&D resources and help connect business and industry to build a strong Oregon economy.
Small Business Certification
The Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) is the sole certification authority for the state of Oregon and provides a “one-stop” certification process. Certification opens the door to targeted government contracting opportunities. Certifications include:
• Federally funded transportation related projects
◦ Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (ACDBE)
◦ Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)
• Contracting opportunities with state, county and city government agencies and special jurisdictions (e.g., hospitals and universities)
◦ Minority Business Enterprise Program (MBE)
◦ Women Business Enterprise Program (WBE)
◦ Emerging Small Business Program (ESB)
Early Stage Capital
A search of “early stage capital” on the Business Oregon website didn’t come up with much. See “Small Business Financing” for some of the business-finance programs the state has. Two of the Oregon InC programs also make early-stage investments: Oregon BEST (cleantech) and ONAMI (micro/nano tech)
And another angle on early stage capital: the Oregon Growth Board makes investments in venture funds and in angel conferences around the state.
Research and Development Assistance
Oregon businesses are encouraged to apply for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. These competitive federal programs are designed to stimulate technological innovation and provide new opportunities for small businesses to conduct research and development (R&D) with commercialization potential.
Federal agencies that spend more than $100 million on outside R&D are required to allocate 2.8% of their R&D budgets to SBIR programs. A complete list of participating agencies is available on the SBA’s web site.
Business Oregon has two types of grants to assist companies in accessing the federal SBIR/STTR grants: Phase 0 Grants and Phase 00 Grants.
Phase 0 Grants
These funds help businesses prepare applications to pursue federal Phase I SBIR/STTR grant funds. Funds can be used for:
• Professional fees to develop the SBIR/STTR Phase I application (e.g., technical consultants, writer, reviewer)
• Other professional fees (e.g., legal, accounting) directly related to preparing the SBIR/STTR Phase I application
• Other out-of-pocket costs directly related to preparing the SBIR/STTR Phase I application (e.g., market research, technical database research or statistical analyses)
Phase 00 Grants
These funds help businesses prepare applications to pursue federal Phase II or Fast Track SBIR/STTR grant funds. Funds can be used for:
• Professional fees to develop the SBIR/STTR Phase II application (e.g., technical consultants, writer, reviewer)
• Other professional fees (e.g., legal, accounting) directly related to preparing the SBIR/STTR Phase II application
• Other out-of-pocket costs directly related to preparing the SBIR/STTR Phase II application (e.g., market research, technical database research or statistical analyses)
Industrial Land Certification & Funding
See “Infrastructure”. It wasn’t clear to me what fits under “infrastructure” and what fits under “Industrial land Certification and Funding”.
Oregon offers globally competitive incentives to encourage business expansion.
Property Tax Abatement
Enterprise Zones—In exchange for investing and hiring in an enterprise zone, businesses receive exemption from local property taxes on new plant and equipment for at least three years (but up to five years) in the standard program. In addition, many zones can offer special incentives for investments in qualifying rural facilities or in electronic commerce operations.
Strategic Investment Program—The Strategic Investment Program exempts a portion of very large capital investments from property taxes for 15 years. The program is available statewide.
Construction-in-Process—Unfinished facility improvements may be exempt from local property taxes for up to two years while under construction, with appropriate April 1 filing each year. In an enterprise zone, most authorized businesses enjoy a somewhat broader tax abatement using a different form.
Food Processing Machinery and Equipment (M&E)—For five years after it is newly placed in service, qualified M&E is exempt if certified by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Eligible M&E may be real or personal property that is used in the primary processing for human consumption of raw or fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, grains, dairy, eggs, seafood, and with certain limitations, bakery products. In the first of the five years, the food processor also needs to file with the county assessor or Oregon Department of Revenue using an exemption claim form.
State Income Tax Credits
Electronic Commerce—Investment tax credit equals 25% of the cost incurred by an authorized business for capital assets used in electronic-commerce operations inside one of several enterprise zones.
Qualified Research Activities Credits—Corporate credit for qualified research and basic research conducted each year in Oregon, as a state-level extension to the federal program.
Other tax credits and information at Oregon Department of Revenue
Oregon Investment Advantage—This program helps businesses start or locate new types of operations in a number of Oregon counties by providing an income tax subtraction, potentially eliminating state income tax liability on the operations for several years after they begin.
Oregon Business Expansion Program—This is a cash-based forgivable loan equivalent to the estimated increase in personal income tax revenue from new hiring.
Small Manufacturing Business Expansion Program—This is a cash-based forgivable loan for small manufacturing businesses’ expansion projects.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit—Congress provides this incentive to private-sector companies for hiring individuals from target groups, for which the state of Oregon has recently instituted systems to expedite and facilitate documentation.
Film & Video Incentives—Oregon offers programs to induce film and video productions:
• Rebate on 20% of the production’s Oregon-based goods and services
• Additional cash payment of up to 16.2% of wages paid to production personnel
Unlike other states’ programs, these incentives are cash-based as opposed to tax credits. This simplifies and speeds up the process.