Coast River Business Journal, February 2014
Kevin Leahy, Executive Director CEDR and CCC SBDC
Successful economic development initiatives are critical to the health of our communities.
In 2008, leaders of our local chambers of commerce convened to assess the strengths and weaknesses of economic development efforts in our area. To their surprise, they counted 22 distinct economic development committees across the county—but discovered none were working in collaboration with one another. From this assessment, the concept of a single, coordinated economic development organization that would serve ALL of Clatsop County was born—and CEDR was established. It is the only organization in Clatsop County whose sole focus is to create, grow and retain businesses.
We also have a unique advantage that the Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center (CCC SBDC), one of nineteen Centers in the State of Oregon, and part of the nation-wide SBDC program, is a key contributor and part of the CEDR organization. Most regions in the state of Oregon have two separate entities, but we have one all under the CEDR umbrella.
Truly a one stop for business in our region.
Many assume economic development responsibilities fall to our city governments and chambers of commerce. While these organizations play a critical role in economic development initiatives, city governments cannot dedicate their attention exclusively to economic development, and neither city governments nor chambers of commerce can focus attention beyond the boundaries of their respective communities.
CEDR serves the need for a dedicated economic development services organization, and provides a central point of contact for coordinated efforts across communities, countywide. CEDR has the endorsement of chambers and city governments across Clatsop County, as well as the endorsement of the county government itself. And by combining countywide efforts under the umbrella of one organization, CEDR is able to provide more resources and service to local businesses than any one community in Clatsop County could provide alone.
“With a collaborative focus on business development, job retention and creation, CEDR is the go-to economic development authority for Clatsop County businesses, entrepreneurs, citizens and governments.”
— Scott Somers, Clatsop County Manager
CEDR provides real value, evidenced by some of our recent accomplishments (Two Year Results 2012/2013)
CEDR has met with 300 business clients with over 1800 hours of CONFIDENTIAL & NO COST advising.
CEDR contributed to the creation of 46 new jobs.
CEDR contributed to the retention of 37.5 existing jobs.
CEDR contributed to 9 new business starts.
CEDR contributed to a $501,512.00 sales growth in client sales.
CEDR assisted in securing $1,171,435.00 in financing for local businesses.
CEDR presented 80 educational workshops serving 892 people.
We are honored and proud of all the businesses we have advised.
A few examples of these businesses include Skipanon Brand Seafood in Warrenton, owned and operated by the Kujala family since 1978. Skipanon Brand has been a Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center client and Alana Kujala represented Skipanon Brand in the Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center Small Business Management (SBM) Class last year. Skipanon Brand was the 2013 winner of the Austin Family Business Program at OSU “Excellence in Family Business Awards” as the “Micro Family Business of the Year” for the State of Oregon.
Another business “client” is Vintage Hardware in Astoria, owned and operated by Becky Johnson, also a Small Business Development Center client over the past few years and a past and current participant in the CCC SBDC Small Business Management (SBM) class.
In addition, CEDR represents Clatsop County outside our local community by building relationships with larger economic development agencies, and advocating on behalf of Clatsop County. At the national level, CEDR is affiliated with the Small Business Administration. At the state level, CEDR works closely with Business Oregon, the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network, and WorkSource Oregon. Regionally, CEDR collaborates with Col-Pac (Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District).
“As Northwest Oregon’s federally-designated economic development district, we are only as strong as our local economies. CEDR is our on-the-ground resource in Clatsop County to support business retention and expansion for our cities and communities. CEDR also provides great synergy within the county for recruiting new business development.”
Mary McArthur, Executive Director, Col-Pac
Working together, we can ensure that we are addressing the right economic development needs in Clatsop County most effectively and efficiently, while building healthier communities full of opportunities.
“The most effective economic development organizations are public/private partnerships—bringing together local government and local businesses to work together on improving the economic environment. Membership in CEDR directly supports resources and expertise that will help businesses start, grow and prosper throughout Clatsop County.”
Erik Andersson, Economic Development Director, Pacific Power
Will you become a member?
CEDR’s operating budget is partially funded by multiple sources, but additional funding is required in order to carry out our work to the fullest extent possible, generating an even more powerful impact.
As an example, last year we added three experienced part-time SBDC counselors; Tom Leiner, Sean Fitzpatrick and Jorge Gutierrez, in addition to our full time counselor Dick Powell, providing CONFIDENTIAL AND NO COST advising. All four of our counselors bring professionalism, financial skill and a passion to assist businesses of all sizes with success strategies.
Membership is available for as little as $50 per year for individuals, and $100 per year for businesses. Six levels of membership are available, and benefits accrue with each upgrade in membership. Please contact me (503-338-2342), firstname.lastname@example.org, or CEDR Board President Skip Hauke (503-325-6311), email@example.com for more details, or to be sent an application form and member benefits information.