Business Oregon Opens Grant Program to Support Rural Communities

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Business Oregon is pleased to announce a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for the 2023-2025 Rural Opportunity Initiative (ROI) Grant Program. ROI is an investment in the vision and proficiency of rural communities and aligns with Business Oregon’s strategic plan to grow local businesses, cultivate rural economic stability, and champion opportunities for underrepresented Oregonians. The Oregon Legislature has allocated $2 million to the ROI Grant Program for the current biennium. 

ROI focuses on empowering rural communities to support entrepreneurs and small business growth through the cultivation of strong entrepreneurial ecosystems. At its core, ROI is designed to create an economy that works for all Oregonians. It is inclusive and community-driven, empowering local leaders to implement collaborative strategies that elevate the role of entrepreneurship in rural economic development, enabling entrepreneurs to create place-based enterprises that boost local economies. 

Small businesses and entrepreneurs drive rural economies and are a major source of opportunity for growth. In addition to supporting entrepreneurship and small business growth, ROIs emphasis on cultivating a healthy ecosystem helps build resiliency and makes businesses more likely to survive a crisis by having access to a full complement of resources. 

By focusing on ecosystem development, ROI helps entrepreneurs thrive in the good times and recover after disruptions. 

In lieu of a “one size fits all” approach with specific objectives to which each community must align, ROI reflects community priorities and acknowledges that the best people to determine the right approach for a community are the residents themselves. 

This RFGA is expected to result in the selection of a cohort of ROI grant recipient communities for the 2023-25 biennium. In addition to grant funding for their projects, ROI grant recipients will have access to a consultant to help augment local capacity and engage in peer learning opportunities with other ROI grant recipients. 

Grant recipients will have until June 30, 2025, to implement their projects. This RFGA will close on October 27, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. PDT. An evaluation committee comprised of internal and external stakeholders will review applications and make funding recommendations with Notices of Intent to Award expected by December 15, 2023. 

For more information on Business Oregon’s ROI Grant Program, visit

Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency’s services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at

By Business Oregon

A state agency

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