Business Oregon Announces Economic Equity Investment Program Grant Awards

Posted in

Business Oregon is pleased to announce grant awards to 37 organizations across the state through its newly created Economic Equity Investment Program (EEIP). The EEIP was created in 2022 by Senate Bill 1579 and made nearly $15 million in grant funding available to culturally responsive organizations to provide outreach, support, and resources to eligible beneficiaries to address longstanding economic inequities. Business Oregon received nearly 90 program applications, requesting over $51 million in funds. After a thorough evaluation process involving agency staff and a diverse panel of external reviewers, 37 grants were awarded.

“The Economic Equity Investment Program is a key step toward closing the racial wealth gap and advancing opportunities for Oregon’s disproportionately underrepresented communities,” said Sophorn Cheang, Director of Business Oregon. “We are so grateful to former Senator Akasha Lawrence Spence for championing this bill, to the program advisory group for their leadership and expertise, and to the reviewers for their dedicated involvement in the evaluation process. Business Oregon is proud to partner with the grant award recipients to deliver culturally responsive and culturally specific services to Oregon communities, and we are confident that this program will lay the foundation for greater economic equity.” 

Following this announcement, Business Oregon will work with grant recipients on the development and negotiation of contracts and anticipates the first payment of funds being disbursed in the Summer of 2023. Recipient organizations will have approximately 18 months to distribute programming and resources to eligible beneficiaries. The EEIP funding currently represents a one-time investment by the Oregon State Legislature.

“The Economic Equity Investment Program is the result of communities, advocates, and policy-makers coming together to address longstanding wealth disparities and the factors that perpetuate them,” said former Senator Akasha Lawrence Spence. “The awards made through the EEIP are critical to ensuring that all Oregonians have access to the opportunities and resources that contribute to economic well-being and inter-generational wealth creation. I am thrilled to see this program operational and look forward to seeing the impact it has on the individuals, businesses, and communities who inspired our work.”

Successful applicants demonstrated a meaningful track record of delivering programs or resources to target populations within at least one of the following key areas: land ownership and real property acquisition, entrepreneurship and business development, workforce, and intergenerational wealth building.

The funded projects are listed below under each of those four categories.

Ownership of Land, Principal Residences, and Other Real Property:
11 Projects; $5,985,020 Awarded

Bienestar ($354,500)

CASA of Oregon ($752,500)

Catholic Charities of Oregon ($250,000)

Farmworkers Housing Development Corporation ($480,000)

Habitat for Humanity Oregon ($850,000)

Hacienda CDC ($692,775)

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization ($400,000)

Kor Community Land Trust ($400,000)

Native American Youth and Family Center ($900,000)

Umatilla-Morrow Head Start ($205,245)

Community Home Builders ($700,000)

Entrepreneurship and Business Development:
16 Projects; $5,181,484 Awarded

Black United Fund of Oregon ($60,000)

Be-Blac ($200,000)

Bohemia Food Hub ($50,000)

Capaces Leadership Institute ($300,000)

Consejo Hispano ($250,000)

High Desert Partnership ($400,000)

Livelihood NW ($220,250)

Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon ($200,000)

National Association of Minority Contractors ($273,000)

Nixyaawii Community Financial Services ($400,000)

Oregon Native American Chamber ($456,464)

Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon and the Black American Chamber of Commerce ($700,000)

Strategic Economic Development Corporation/Latino Business Alliance ($400,000)

The Next Door ($271,770)

Urban League of Portland ($800,000)

Warm Springs Community Action Team ($200,000)

Workforce Development:
5 Projects; $1,049,360 Awarded

Asociación Hispana de la Industria del Vino en Oregon y Comunidad ($195,360)

Constructing Hope ($150,000)

Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center & Rosemary Anderson High School ($124,000)

Unidos Bridging Community ($400,000)

Venture Partners Education and Career Development – Venture Lab ($180,000)

Intergenerational Wealth Building:
5 Projects; $1,535,066 Awarded

Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington ($500,000)

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon ($207,066)

Project Youth+ ($140,000)

Rural Development Initiative ($250,000)

Umpqua Community Development Corp/ NeighborWorks Umpqua ($438,000)

More information about this program and detailed descriptions of the awarded organizations and their programs can be found on Business Oregon’s website.

By Press Release

Posted in

Leave a Comment