EDCO’s Sisters Quarterly Business Roundtable brought together key figures from the local business community on October 25th at Sisters Bakery’s new production space. This fifth edition of the Roundtable, organized by Eric Strobel, Area Director for EDCO, showcased the spirit of collaboration and information sharing that drives economic growth in Central Oregon. Leaders from local employers, such as Sisters Habitat for Humanity, Holy Kakow, Sisters Coffee Company, Innoviator, and Sisters Bakery gathered to discuss their experiences, challenges and strategies for success.
One of the highlights was a presentation by Spencer Hamiga, Owner of Sisters Bakery, on the company’s approach to attracting and retaining talent. Hamiga shared the bakery had started a program to offer gas money to employees as a means of offsetting commute costs. This initiative not only demonstrated the bakery’s commitment to supporting their workforce but also resulted in increased interest from potential candidates and an enhanced selection process.
Northwest Housing Alternatives aims to address the critical need for affordable housing with a 40-unit apartment complex, located on the west side of Sisters. With a $10 million funding boost from Oregon Housing and Community Services and a $500,000 grant from the City of Sisters, the Trinity Place development will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for individuals earning 80-120% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Developers hope to work with local employers and agriculture producers to ensure the units support the current workforce.
Another notable discussion came from RootedHomes, who shared their plans for expansion in Sisters. The Woodlands project is a 35-acre parcel of land that will eventually have 168 homes near downtown Sisters. In partnership with the Sisters School District, RootedHomes is committed to offering opportunities for homeownership of two residences to local educators and hopes the model can be scaled to other businesses in the community.
The Sisters Quarterly Business Roundtable demonstrated the power of collaboration, where business owners, CEOs and general managers come together to exchange ideas, share experiences and foster innovation. By cultivating an environment of information sharing and collective problem-solving, these roundtable sessions continue to fuel entrepreneurial growth and forge a stronger business community in Sisters. As supported by EDCO’s dedication to partnering with local companies for expansion and development, Sisters remains poised for a prosperous future.