Economic Development

Veneta is committed to economic development, and our community has made it a priority by offering various economic incentives. The following incentives are offered by the City, and include: an Enterprise Zone recognized by the State of Oregon, a Business Assistance Program, a Redevelopment Toolkit for the Downtown Area, and a Rural Tourism Marketing Program.

Economic Development Initiatives

Veneta Business Connect
The Veneta Business Connect Program is a Business Retention & Expansion program designed to support existing and emerging businesses in the Veneta and Fern Ridge area.

The key to business vitality is having a strong, locally-owned business base that has the capacity to endure and grow in today’s rapidly changing economy. While every rural business faces unique challenges, there are proactive and proven economic development strategies that can help existing businesses recognize their full potential. To this end Veneta has partnered with Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) to develop and implement the Veneta Business Connect pilot program in 2016. Alongside countless partners, the City of Veneta, RDI, and the Veneta Economic Development Committee (EDC) aim to assess business needs, connect direct assistance, and develop long-term strategies to support the local business base. Read the report from the program here.

From Veneta Business Connect, the EDC partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to create a subcommittee known simply as “business Connect.” This group has been active since 2016 and hosted the first annual Local Business Showcase, which highlights the variety and breadth of Veneta-Fern Ridge businesses, and opened the Veneta Small Business Assistance Center (link to SBAC in Business Assistance section when Chamber site finished) to support entrepreneurs in our area.

Local Business Showcase
The first annual Local Business Showcase was held in April 2017. Over 50 businesses participated, highlighting the variety of businesses the Veneta-Fern Ridge Area has to offer. The Showcase offers a platform for business owners to network with one another and community members; market their products and/or services; and have fun! The 2018 Local Business Showcase will be held on Saturday, April 28th at Deep Woods Events. Stay tuned for more information!

Resources – City of Veneta

Enterprise Zone
In exchange for locating or expanding into an enterprise zone, eligible businesses receive exemptions from property taxes normally assessed on new plant and equipment (not including land) for a set period of time.

Business Assistance Program
The Business Assistance Program (BAP) has grants and loans available to encourage business expansions and startups which create or retain job opportunities in Veneta, and add to a vibrant business climate. The method employed to encourage this expansion is to utilize the BAP and local matching funds to make low interest subordinated or direct loans/grants to small business or local nonprofits.

Redevelopment Toolkit
The Urban Renewal Agency has funds allocated to promote commercial and retail development in line with the Agency’s and City’s vision for the downtown area, to assist projects that provide a service that is underserved or does not exist, and for the removal of urban blight.

Rural Tourism Marketing
Lane County’s Rural Tourism Marketing Plan process allocates funds to rural communities for tourism related projects. Grants up to $500 are available. To be eligible, the project/program must be a tourism marketing related one. The request should support marketing efforts, and improve attractiveness of rural communities in Lane County.

Resources – State and County

Business Oregon
Business Oregon is the state’s economic development agency. Business Oregon invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. Business Oregon focus’ first on supporting the retention and expansion of existing Oregon businesses within traded sectors and foster a dynamic startup and entrepreneurial environment.

Business Oregon helps enterprises access the global trade market, offers loans, assists in business succession planning, upgrades infrastructure for municipalities, and facilitates workforce development.

Melissa Murphy is the Regional Development Officer for Lane, Linn, and Benton Counties. Her phone number is 503-983-8857.

Lane Council of Governments
Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) offers a Business Loan Program that helps small businesses utilize various government loan resources including local, state and federal programs such as the U.S. Small Business Administration. These programs can offer numerous benefits including as attractive rate of interest, higher loan-to-value, and easier access to capital. Contact Program Manager, Steve Dignam by phone at 541-682-7450.