The House Economic Development & Trade Committee heard from Business Oregon updating this new committee on the economic growth experienced by our state in the last few years. Highlights included: $21 Billion was exported last year, Oregon was in the top ten states for new startups seeking funding, and 107,800 jobs were added since the pre-recession peak. Going forward, Business Oregon has identified the following priorities:

  • “Growing our own” – 70 percent of job growth in our state to come from existing companies
  • Rural community & infrastructure development
  • Economic opportunity for under-served populations
  • Small business growth & innovation
  • Quality job creation

Business Oregon is focused on targeting industries including: advanced manufacturing, food & beverage, forestry & wood products, high tech, outdoor gear and apparel, and business services.

The following business finance loans are currently available through Business Oregon:

  • Oregon Business Development Fund Direct: loans to small businesses, preference to rural and distressed areas, must be manufacturing or distribution.
  • Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund: Smaller direct loans to help start-ups and micro-enterprises. Must also be enrolled in local business counseling program.
  • Capital Access Program & Credit Enhancement Fund: Forms of loan guarantees and loan loss fund. Works with private lenders to make more loans to small businesses.
  • Small Business Expansion Program: Pilot program allows businesses to pay a periodic revenue payment based on sales.

‘Public Hearings of Interest’ this week included:

Senate Environment & Natural Resources – SB 610 Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Higher Education Coordinating Commission for Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development for Oregon Employer Workforce Training Program, local workforce investment boards and Oregon Youth Conservation Corps.

House Energy & Environment – HB 2136 Creates schedule by which certain percentage of electricity sold by electric company to retail electricity consumers must be electricity generated by qualifying small-scale renewable energy projects.

House Revenue – HB 2054 Modifies definition of “business tax credit,” as allowed to shareholders of S corporation, to remove Department of Revenue rulemaking authority.

Senate Revenue – SB 145 Repeals sunset of income tax credit allowed to eligible business operating new business facility in reservation enterprise zone or reservation partnership zone.

House Revenue – HB 2063 For purposes of property tax exemption for certain communication infrastructure, requires minimum cost of newly constructed or installed real or tangible personal property.

House Transportation – HB 2473 Establishes grant program to facilitate installation of self-service dispensing devices at motor vehicle fuel dispensaries in low-population counties.

Hearings the week of February 13 include:

  • OEDA’s Electronic Commerce Bills
    • HB 2073: Extends sunset for tax credit for electronic commerce in enterprise zone or city designated for electronic commerce.
    • HB 2243: Increases maximum number of zones for electronic commerce.
  • HB 2756: Transfers duties, functions and powers of State Department of Energy related to issuance of loans for small scale local energy projects to Oregon Business Development Department.
  • HB 2152: Permits small business development centers to use grant funds for outreach and marketing.
  • HB 2242: Restricts business development project to projects that result in, aid, promote or facilitate development of traded sector activities.