PUD Grant will Help Revitalize Chamber Building
May 17, 2019 – LEAD Columbia County received a $5,500 Economic Development Grant from Columbia River PUD to upgrade the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce building.
The PUD’s Board of Directors awarded the grant to LEAD (Leading Economic Advancement and Direction) Columbia County during their May 14 meeting.
The Chamber of Commerce is adding a visitor center and establishing a business center at its building at the corner of Highway 30 and Columbia Blvd. in St. Helens.
“We will be revamping our visitor center and fully utilizing the tremendous space that we have here and establishing a successful business center for local businesses to utilize,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Simon Date.
Among the additions to the building are a coffee cart to be staffed by young adults with special needs, a classroom, and an area for local entrepreneurs to collaborate at no cost. The Chamber is working with local artists on the enhanced space as well.
“I really like that you’re going to collaborate with local artists. That’s great,” said PUD Board Member Rob Mathers. “And I think your idea of having the coffee cart staffed by young adults with special needs is a very, very good approach.”
The business center will be free for everyone to use. Its goal, according to Date, is to provide a space for incubation and development for small businesses to take their ideas and dreams to the next level, and to grow into successful companies that the entire community can benefit from.
“This is a great cause,” said PUD Board President Jake Carter.
CRPUD’s Economic Development Grant is designed to promote investment in long-term economic development and growth of business and industry within the CRPUD service area for the benefit of the local community and CRPUD customers. It is available to nonprofit corporations for projects meeting certain considerations and requirements.
This is the third Economic Development Grant awarded by CRPUD in 2019. Learn more about the grant program.