Proposal offers five strategies to boost E. Linn County economy


November 22, 2016

The Rural Linn Economic Development plan proposes five goals:

- Establishment of a rural-focused, primary point of contact that will collaborate with all existing service organizations to align and focus resources.

The Rural Linn Economic Development group would coordinate and leverage services and efforts already in place by other, more local economic development, government and educational agencies. It would catalogue such resources and help connect them with people who need them. It would also assist local businesses in navigating the maze of government rules and regulations.

- Connecting new entrepreneurs with learning opportunities and start-up support.

RLED would employ a business accelerator approach based on business incubator and service models developed by Eugene-based Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN) and the Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). These may include assistance with business loans, grants and other financing.

- Assisting existing or relocating businesses with successfully implementing their growth strategies.

RLED would act as a behind-the-scenes partner in assisting small businesses with marketing, finding potential collaborators that would allow a business to focus on its core skills and specialties, suggest additional products or locations and finding skilled labor.

- Linking existing and potential rural Linn County employers with a skilled and trained workforce.

A trained workforce, the proposal states, “is critical to attracting new business and retaining existing businesses.” RLED would coordinate existing efforts to develop skilled workers by Linn-Benton Community College, local high schools and others, and would advocate for training programs that would meet the needs of existing and potential rural employers.

- Advocating for improved market conditions, legislative, regulatory or government; particularly those directed at workforce readiness and development.

The proposal states that rural communities are often not represented well in negotiations that affect their local economies and businesses. RLED would provide a voice for rural communities and businesses in legislative and regulatory negotiations in an effort to “stimulate, rather than stifle, local rural business growth” in areas such as System Development Changes, building permit and civil engineering process.


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