CRPUD Board Awards First Economic Development Grant to SHEDCO

St. Helens Economic Development Corporation (SHEDCO) is the first recipient of Columbia River PUD’s Economic Development Grant. At the June 19 meeting, the PUD Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor of awarding SHEDCO $5,000 for its Business Development Competition.

“Congratulations, you’re our first,” PUD Board President Jake Carter told SHEDCO’s Al Petersen and Amanda Normine.

Petersen and Normine provided details about the competition during the meeting. The competition is for new or expanding businesses along the Main Street Corridor in St. Helens. Participants receive training and coaching on how to develop a business plan, and present their plan to a panel of judges.

“Business plans are really important,” said PUD Board Member Rob Mathers. “A lot of folks really don’t know how to write them properly and compellingly, so this is really good for the community.”

The winner of the competition receives a $20,000 no-interest loan and a $5,000 cash grant to help develop their business.

“Most of the potential companies that come to us as a Main Street business are smaller by nature. They’re service industry companies,” Normine explained. “This is a great model for them because the monthly payments are so low. It really allows them to take a breath and open.”

The PUD’s Economic Development Grant Program was implemented in April to promote investment in long-term economic development and growth of business and industry in our service area for the benefit of the local community and our customers. The grant is available to nonprofit corporations for projects meeting certain considerations and requirements.

Anyone interested in learning how to apply for the Economic Development Grant Program can find details here.