CARES Act Funding
The Cascades West Economic Development District (CWEDD) received Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding to assist partners with responding to the specific recovery needs in the unique communities across the district. Eligible applicants included City and County governments in Benton, Lane, Lincoln, and Linn that demonstrated direct work supporting and improving economic resiliency and recovery. A total of 27 applications were received with 18 projects being funded.
Decisions to award were based on the following:
- Demonstrates an immediate need for the project.
- Demonstrates ability to complete the project in the required timeline (by May 30, 2022).
- Demonstrates that applicant and project meet the eligibility requirements.
- Preference given to projects that demonstrate connection to Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) or Governor’s Rapid Economic Recovery Plan
The City of Monroe will create its first ever strategic 5-year Economic Development Plan. The plan will help to guide and maintain a strong and vibrant local economy through a thoughtful and tailored approach that will fit the rural setting. The grant will cover costs related to hiring a consultant to assist in the creation, decision-making, and implementation. These funds are vital to a small city with two staff members and a small operating budget. Achieving projects of this scale can only be done correctly with outside partnerships and support.
The large outdoor space on the Emporium property has been neglected and is in need of some improvements. Lighting, picnic tables and chairs will be added to create a pleasant environment. Decorations will embrace the history of the building as a former school reusing old desks and bicycles. Monthly art walks, music jams, yoga classes, and local food events are already booked. Visiting artists and art classes are currently being coordinated, including preparations for holiday and seasonal events.
The Toledo Mural project will promote economic resiliency by encouraging tourists and residents to experience all that Toledo has to offer. The funds will be used for a Mural project that engages community members, including youth and new artists, to create several larger murals in Toledo. In addition, the city will create a professional development pipeline for new artists by providing opportunities to create public art on vacant windows, utility boxes and other locations that can help artists stair-step into larger murals.
The Benton County Business Portal will be a comprehensive portal available in both English and Spanish providing tools and information relative to industry and city. Currently, this information is spread across many different websites and government departments making it difficult to find and access. The portal will provide business start-up information as well as links to disaster preparedness, hiring employees, and obtaining capital. In addition, the site will devote a section to listing available commercial property and buildable lands inventories.