Tag Archives: business

Jefferson County Offers $143,000 Incentive for Construction of Industrial Space

EDCO logo, Mount Bachelor landscape

Jefferson County Offers $143,000 Incentive for Construction of Industrial Space

Madras, Ore. Jefferson County has finalized a grant program that offers a cash incentive for
the private development community to construct new industrial or light industrial space within the county’s borders. For years, all existing heavy and light industrial space has been fully occupied in Madras, Metolius, Culver, Crooked River Ranch and Warm Springs, which the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners see as a barrier for business development. This incentive would offer up to $125,000 for construction of a 60,000 square foot building available for lease. The minimum size for eligibility is 20,000 square feet, which would yield a $75,000 cash grant. Sizes in between will be prorated.

Additionally, the grant recipient may also apply for up to $18,000 in “rent gap coverage” to
defray costs if the building remains vacant after completion. This grant is designed for maximum flexibility and does not require a specific property to be identified at the time of the application.

However, those applications with land control (lease or ownership) will be scored higher. Applicants also need not have a tenant in hand to apply. The deadline for applications for this incentive is November 4th, 2019, 2:00pm.

“It is widely known that a shortage of built industrial space available for lease in a community is a barrier for both existing businesses to expand and companies outside our borders to relocate,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Kelly Simmelink. “We don’t want to lose opportunities due to a 12-18 month permitting and construction time frame,” he noted.

Commissioner Mae Huston emphasized that financial capital is also a constraint. “Many of the economic development tools to attract business to Jefferson County are geared to businesses that can be patient through a building project and have sufficient capital for ground-up development,” said Huston.

“The data tells us that most business owners would rather direct their capital and attention to the business rather than real estate,” continued Huston.

Wayne Fording, local business owner and longtime Commissioner, sees the incentive as a way for the public sector to help mitigate private sector risk of investing in new speculative space. “The grant program’s goal is to get someone to add inventory, and we believe occupancy will follow quickly,” said Fording.

This grant program may be used in conjunction with the Oregon Enterprise Zone program,
which offers 3-15 year property tax exemptions for qualifying companies on buildings, equipment and certain types of personal property. Local jurisdictions including Jefferson County, City of Madras, City of Metolius, City of Culver and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs volunteer to temporarily give up some property tax revenue via the Enterprise Zone programs in order to attract new jobs and capital investment.

The source of funding used for the industrial construction incentive program is a portion of the net proceeds of a 1980s Oregon Community Development Grant that the County used to establish a business economic development loan program. The County originally received $400,000. Today, the program has grown with principal and interest repayments to a current value over $800,000.

Grant details are available at www.jeffco.net/RFPs and the deadline for sealed
applications is November 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM.

Contact: Kelly Simmelink, County Commissioner – 503.730.6573
Jeff Rasmussen, County Administrative Officer – 541.460.0889

About Jefferson County:
Established in 1914, Jefferson County comprises the northern portion of the Central Oregon region and includes Oregon’s largest Native American reservation. It is home to some of the largest manufacturers in the region, has among the state’s most diverse population and its farms produce the majority of the annual U.S. and global carrot seed supply.

Start: LeadMethod Immersed in Bend

August 20, 2019 – In 2013 LeadMethod Founder & CEO Justin Johnson moved from Seattle to Bend. Unsure how to immerse himself in the business community, he reached out to EDCO for resources that allowed him to connect with many local leaders, influencers and mentors.

One local resource he connected with was the Bend Venture Conference, and in 2017 LeadMethod walked away from the annual angel investing event with over $485,000 in funding. The winners of the largest Angel Conference in the West kicked their growth into high gear. The money raised from BVC allowed LeadMethod to increase its staff by 50% and move into a new 5,000 square foot office space, giving them both the manpower and room to scale the business while also adding the ability to test new and innovative ideas.

LeadMethod, a creator of the first channel revenue optimization software, allows manufacturers and distributors to get more information on the leads provided throughout the entire sales cycle. With 25% of their customers surpassing $1 billion in revenue, they continue to gain industry trust worldwide while expanding their footprint in Bend.

For more info on LeadMethod, visit: https://leadmethod.com/

Grow: Laird Superfood Expands in Sisters

Laird Superfood staff outside Sisters facility

August 13, 2019 – In November 2015 Laird Superfood started its operations with just three employees in Sisters, Oregon. Their flagship product, Laird Superfood creamer was making waves across the natural products market thanks in part to the company’s namesake and co-founder, Laird Hamilton. The company creates clean, all-natural superfood products that are sustainably grown and responsibly sourced, including coffee creamers and hydration products.

Today, the company has over 80 employees and a brand new 20,000+ sq. ft. state-of-the-art campus. A recent investment from global co-working giant WeWork (now The We Company) gave the company the capital needed to continue its expansion with innovative growth plans.

What started as an idea would not have been possible in Sisters without help from EDCO. Laird Superfood CEO Paul Hodge had recently moved to the Sisters community and wasn’t convinced manufacturing a globally distributed product would be possible in a city with just 2,700 residents. EDCO quickly aligned city and county leadership, state government and local support to give Laird Superfood the resources needed to launch. From incentives to land selection, workforce and development assistance, EDCO worked closely with the company, providing the necessary help for them to achieve a successful start with roots firmly planted in Sisters.

For more information about Laird Superfood, visit: https://lairdsuperfood.com/

Move: Aquaglide Bounces Over to Bend

August 8, 2019 – Last year Aquaglide, one of the world’s premier inflatable water sport product companies, was in the process of being acquired by outdoor industry powerhouse Kent Watersports through Connelly Skis, one of Kent’s iconic brands. EDCO worked with Aquaglide providing location options, cost comparisons and more, to show Kent Watersports the many benefits of relocating Aquaglide to Bend.

After months of back and forth discussions, Kent Watersports was convinced that the move was a financially responsible decision and great for their employees. One year later Aquaglide now operates its headquarters from Central Oregon, with a team of 10 who were hired locally. For Aquaglide, the lifestyle and ability to attract the top-level talent that Central Oregon provides was the defining factor in relocating to Bend.

For more information on Aquaglide and their products, visit their website: https://www.aquaglide.com/

Radian Weapons Announces New Location in Redmond


BEND, OR (November 16, 2017) – Salem-based Radian Weapons recently announced plans to move their production facility and headquarter operations to Redmond, OR. They are currently in the process of hiring multiple positions to round out their new facility, with start dates as early as December.

After searching for years for a new, expanded facility, Radian Weapons chose to relocate to Redmond based on the breadth of workforce, available manufacturing space, and the quality of life the region has to offer – many of the same reasons three-million people vacation in Central Oregon annually.

“Ultimately, Redmond came out as the best place to relocate our operations to,” Joshua Underwood, CEO of Radian Weapons. “Growing up visiting Central Oregon as a kid, it was always a goal to one day live here. After seeing the manufacturing and arms ecosystem that is emerging, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. And being able to hire passionate residents that live our company’s lifestyle was a must.”

Founded in 2009 as AXTS Weapons Systems, Radian Weapons manufactures innovative rifle accessories, including the Raptor charging handle and Talon safety, and now complete high end AR15s. Radian prides itself on delivering innovative products that are made to the highest possible manufacturing standards.

The quality of their manufacturing has attracted buyers from across the globe. This new facility will allow Radian Weapons to expand their production to better meet the demand they’ve had over the last few years. In addition to the jobs that are currently posted on their website, Radian Weapons plan to hire up to twelve new positions in the next twelve months.

“We’re truly excited to have Radian Weapons join our existing mix of companies in this sector,” said Jon Stark, REDI’s Senior Director. “The high quality products they manufacture are well-renowned in their industry and we’re proud to be able to say they’re Made in Redmond.”