Oregon will receive $83.5 million from the federal government to help small business owners, the U.S. Treasury and Governor Kate Brown announced Friday.
The influx of federal funding comes from the US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, a competitive program that provides seed funding in the hope that private investors will invest $10 for every dollar of federal spending. Colorado, Montana and New York also received funds on Friday.
Brown told a news conference that Oregon will use the new federal funds to “address systemic barriers to economic opportunity.”
Oregon plans to split its $83.5 million between innovative companies in their early stages and small, local retail and manufacturing businesses that need help with start-up or expansion costs, said Btown. It includes two venture capital programs, according to a Treasury press release.
“Most importantly, these programs will focus on closing economic wealth gaps, and will also be self-sustaining and renewable to continue to support our small businesses in the future,” Brown said. .
U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, said at the press conference that the new funding will “launch” a new wave of entrepreneurship.
“Millennials and people across the country are starting small businesses and seeing record numbers,” she said. “It’s exciting to hear their stories. Just yesterday I met with the owners of a local small business who told me that the federal assistance they received during this pandemic has kept their doors open and kept 58 people employed, and now they plan to expand and open another location.
U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon, also joined the event and said small businesses were hit hardest by the Covid pandemic. Federal assistance, including Paycheck Protection Program loans, has helped many small businesses survive, he said, and now they’re ready to innovate.
The American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package enacted early in President Joe Biden’s term, is the first economic stimulus package that Schrader says specifically targets underrepresented and tribal communities. to ensure equitable access to aid.
“The job market is wide open, but people are holding back waiting to figure out what they really want to do with their lives in the future,” Schrader said. “Small business entrepreneurship thrives in this environment. We are going to see a whole wave of people being able to access capital for the first time.
Oregon, home to 15% of the nation’s semiconductor workforce, also plans to benefit from billions of additional dollars in federal and private investments through the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. dollars that Biden signed earlier this month. At the state level, the Legislature this year approved a $200 million jobs bill to train women and racial and ethnic minorities in construction, health care and manufacturing.