Grant Applications Open to Organizations Advancing Economic Equity

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Business Oregon has opened a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for the Economic Equity Investment Program—a new program created to promote durable economic advancement among historically marginalized communities. 

The Economic Equity Investment Program (EEIP) offers nearly $15 million in grant funding to culturally responsive organizations to provide outreach, support, and resources to eligible beneficiaries to address longstanding economic inequities. Successful applicants will demonstrate 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 EEIP was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2022 and informed by a seven-member advisory group consisting of nonprofit and agency executives, community leaders and advocates, and public policy specialists. Business Oregon welcomes applications from organizations who exhibit alignment with the parameters, goals, and values of the program.  

The EEIP funding currently represents a one-time investment by the Oregon State Legislature. Business Oregon anticipates making awards to recipient organizations in the Spring of 2023, followed by the development and negotiation of contracts, with 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. 

Below is a list of examples of programs, tools, or activities that would be considered appropriate or eligible under each key area. Based on the understanding that wealth building means something different for different communities, please note that these are merely examples and not an exhaustive list of possible uses of the funds; applicants are encouraged to propose approaches that they have successfully utilized and that will help achieve the overall goals of the program. 

  1. Ownership of land, principal residences, other real property: down payment assistance, Individual Development Accounts, retail space, foreclosure prevention, land grants and community land trusts, and education related to wealth-building through home ownership.
  2. Entrepreneurship and business development: business loans or forgivable loans, business grants, access to professional services, Individual Development Accounts, equipment purchases, training or programs, licensing fees, immigration fees, and personal and business tax preparation.
  3. Workforce development: job training, paid internships, apprenticeships, re-entry programs, job readiness support, job search assistance, and trade and technology programs.
  4. Intergenerational wealth building: children’s savings accounts, credit counseling, matched savings programs, bonds or other safe investment vehicles, and debt reduction. 

Business Oregon will hold an information session for anyone interested in learning more about this RFGA on January 10, 2023. Click here to register. Business Oregon will also host five sessions of small group office hours, limited to 15 people each, to answer applicant questions. To participate, applicants must register for the session they wish to join by clicking on the appropriate link below:

More information about this program and the grant requirements can be found on Business Oregon’s website.

Applications are due by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.

By Business Oregon Press Release

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