GPEDD Awarded $400,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grant
26 Aug 2020
Press Release, GPI in the News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2020
Greater Portland Inc
GPEDD awarded $400,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant
The EDA funds will be used to support a recovery plan for the region.
PORTLAND, Ore. – Greater Portland Economic Development District (GPEDD) is pleased to announce that it has received a $400,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). GPEDD is housed within Greater Portland Inc, the regional economic development organization.
GPEDD was among economic development districts throughout the U.S. invited to apply for this grant, as it has received partnership planning grants from the EDA on an ongoing basis. GPEDD has used these grants to foster economic growth through implementation of past Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), required by the EDA every five years. In the EDA’s invitation letter, the agency said this ongoing work on behalf of the region has demonstrated GPEDD’s substantial investment in building capacity to respond to economic shocks.
GPEDD is currently developing the CEDS for 2025, and the recovery planning process is embedded within this larger effort and strategy.
“We recognized the need to create a short-term regional recovery strategy to respond to the immediate economic impacts of the pandemic,” said GPEDD Board Chair Kimberly Branam, Executive Director of Prosper Portland. “This innovative approach positions us to address pressing economic needs, while also ensuring greater regional resiliency and collaboration for years to come.”
The new funds will be used to create and implement a recovery plan for the federally-designated economic development district, which encompasses Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington.
This values-driven recovery plan will identify resource gaps in the four-county area and lay out a roadmap of specific actions and policies that will spur an equitable recovery.
Bridge Economic Development, ECONorthwest and Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) have been contracted to develop the recovery plan. GPI will be working in partnership with Metro, the regional government, to guide the project. The recovery planning process will start by identifying those who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic and the resulting economic fallout, as well as learning which groups received relief, and who was left out.
“Like all regions in the country, the coronavirus pandemic has hit Greater Portland hard, and some populations and sectors have been more impacted than others,” said Cara Rene, GPI’s interim president and CEO. “We have the opportunity to address these inequities and help those who are struggling, so our region recovers stronger.”
The GPEDD board of directors will review and provide input on a number of detailed recommended actions to support individuals who lost their jobs or business owners who were negatively impacted due to the pandemic. Additional community stakeholders are also be included in this process, and GPI continues to seek input from diverse voices from around the region.
By October, the board will receive for its approval the economic recovery plan with specific actions to be implemented over the next 3-24 months. Because many of these action items will require funding, potential state and federal funding sources for action items will be defined. The final plan will also include regional, state and federal policy priorities.
“Our region is not alone in planning for recovery, but we can stand apart in our approach,” said GPEDD Vice Chair Jason Green, CBRE’s Managing Director for Oregon and SW Washington. “A data-driven, action-oriented approach will help us get recovery right, and set our region up for long-term success built on helping those who need it most.”
About Greater Portland Inc: Greater Portland Inc provides support and services to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Greater Portland, a region that spans two states and seven counties. A true public-private partnership model, Greater Portland Inc is supported by 90 public- and private-sector partners who are committed to advancing regional economic development through job growth and investment. Greater Portland Inc and partners shape the region’s economic future and market the region to the world. Learn more at greaterportlandinc.com.