BEND, OR -- Economic Development for Central Oregon is asking Deschutes County for a 6% budget increase to more than $306,000 to keep up with rising expenses.
EDCO’s CEO says they assisted almost 600 businesses last year, and helped create 300 jobs.
John Stark talked with County Commissioners Wednesday about challenges related to materials and labor shortages, “The last two years we’ve had a bit of lag. That’s because it’s taking longer to move out of these pending projects. But we’ve still had a pretty good year, comparatively speaking.”
Advanced manufacturing and lifestyle products are the leading sectors for Central Oregon.
“Even though we’re facing the economy's up and downs and these headwinds, people still want to relocate their businesses to Central Oregon. We are in demand,” Stark told the commission. “The challenge we’re facing is time. Materials availability, materials cost. Labor availability both to construct the business, and the business to be ready expand.”
Commissioners said they’ll take the budget request under consideration and will make a decision once the lottery funding report is in next month.
Economic development grants are made available through the Video Lottery Fund, which is supported by state lottery proceeds.