Incentives & Programs

We Take Your Business Personally

Whether you’ve been here for many years, or are considering Oregon City as a new location, contact the Economic Development Department to learn about available resources and assistance. 

Our Economic Development professionals will support you to help find the right location, recruit new employees, access workforce training resources, or find other support for your company.

Oregon City provides specific tools to support investment, including grants, low-cost financing and tax credits. Business incentives are location specific, unless otherwise noted.

Business Education and Technical Assistance

The BIZ POD of Oregon City is a fast-paced, hands-on class that pays (yes, really pays!) startup business owners to learn the business essentials! Click the banner above for more information and to sign up for its mailing list.

Micro-Enterprise Services of Oregon

Micro-Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) is an organization dedicated to serving the needs of small businesses through individualized partnerships, personalized solutions, strategy advising and resource connections.

Services include:

  • Long and short-term technical assistance for business planning and finance
  • Discounted industry and marketing reporting
  • Individual Development Accounts
  • Business education classes
  • Credit building programs
  • Community capital

Visit the MESO website for more information or to sign up for their business programs.

Oregon City
Ombudsman Program

Development Assistance and Workforce Support

Building your business takes a lot of work. Our Economic Development staff will work with you as you plan for a new or expanded location in Oregon City.

We can assist you with:

  • Zoning and Permitting questions
  • Scheduling time to meet with Planning staff
  • Available property search (for sale and lease)

The Ombudsman or “Business Advocate” program is designed to support companies that are in a Target Industry, have been in Oregon City for 10 or more years and/or will support 10 or more jobs. But every business is encouraged to call and ask about support.

We can also support customized job training programs in certain industries and connect you with workforce recruitment resources.

The Oregon City Ombudsman Program will be open soon. Check back on this page for more information as available.

Financial Assistance

Oregon City is currently accepting loan applications for the second round of the EOLP (beginning May 15, 2023).

Loan funds may be spent on the purchase of equipment, property or building renovations, provided that the business owns the property where they are located.

Businesses may also borrow funds to support working capital needs. However, additional information is required in the loan application, including additional business plan details and income projections.

Loan Terms:

  • Start-up businesses may apply for up to $20,000. No payment required for first 12 months.
  • Interest in first 12 months accrues at 0.5%
  • Interest after first 12 months will be prime + 3%.
  • Loan must be paid within 5 years.

If you have general questions about the program or the application process, contact Ann Griffin at 503-974-5517.

If you are ready to apply for the EOLP, contact the business services team at Embold Credit Union, 503-496-3526 or businessservices@emboldcu.org.

Microenterprise Grant Program

The Oregon City Economic Development Department has partnered with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) to create the Oregon City Microenterprise Grant Program. Both organizations are committed to supporting small business and micro-business owners in our community and fostering local economic vitality. The Oregon City Microenterprise Grant Program will provide grant assistance of up to $10,000, along with business support and technical assistance services, to microenterprise businesses in Oregon City.

A “microenterprise” is a business with five or fewer employees, including the business owner(s).

Oregon City will provide support to Target Industry and childcare businesses. Target Industries include professional service firms, distribution, light manufacturing and healthcare companies. We will also support companies that provided service to people during the pandemic, such as home food and healthcare delivery businesses. Funds may be made available for businesses outside of these target sectors depending upon the applications received.

Eligibility:
Microenterprises applying for the grant must meet the following criteria:
• Be a business with 5 or fewer employees, including the owner(s)
• The owner(s) of the microenterprise must be of low to moderate-income

U.S. Small Business Injury Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that non-farm small businesses in 21 Oregon counties (including Clackamas County) are eligible to apply for low interest federal disaster loans.. This loan program is designed to support small businesses who experienced economic losses due to 2023’s summer drought, either through direct impact or from secondhand impact of the drought’s agriculture industry impact. Non-farm applicants eligible include small businesses, agriculture co-ops, aquaculture and non-profit organizations of any size. Eligibility is measured in financial impact of the disaster, not solely on property damage.

U.S. SBA Injury Disaster Loans are offered at an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.375% for private non-profits, with interest not accruing until 12 months from first loan disbursement. Applications are open until April 29th, 2024.

For more information or to access the application, visit the links below or call SBA’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955.

Mt. Hood Economic Alliance Program

The Mt. Hood Economic Alliance is a collaboration between Clackamas, Hood River, and Wasco counties created to support small businesses through gap financing loans. This opportunity is especially for local businesses looking to secure financing outside of conventional banking routes.

Basic Loan Requirements:
  • Applicant participation: 10% to 25% of funds needed for the project.
  • Collateral generally needs to equal 100% of loan amount.
  • Business net profit must provide debt coverage of at least 1 10% of the loan amount.
  • Assignments of insurance policies as appropriate.
  • Review of personal credit history and personal financial situation.
  • Business performance/forecasting of profit and loss analyzed.
  • One job created or retained per $25,000 in loan funds is the loan portfolio goal.
  • Leverages a minimum of $1 for every $1 of loan funding received.
  • Personal guarantees of principals with 20% ownership .
  • Project is located in and benefits residents living in Clackamas, Hood River or Wasco Counties.

For more information about loan terms or about the Mt. Hood Economic Alliance, visit the website here or view the flyer below.

Development Incentives

Vertical Housing Tax Credit

The Vertical Housing Development Zone program provides qualified development projects a 10-year property tax exemption on the value of new construction or rehabilitation for 20 percent per residential floor above a commercial ground floor with total exemption limited to no more than 80 percent.

Oregon City’s goals for the vertical housing program include:

  • Helping fulfill multiple city policies to incentivize higher density, mixed-use and transit oriented development
  • Increasing assessed values throughout these areas
  • Increasing the number of residents living downtown that will in turn shop, dine and patronize local businesses
  • Increasing the number of retail and office business opportunities in response to future residential growth
  • Increasing housing affordability and access to affordable housing
  • Encouraging sustainable construction.

To learn more about the program and your eligibility, click the button below.

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Enterprise Zone

The Enterprise Zone Program provides business incentives through property tax abatement for a period of 3-5 years for all qualified businesses. The Oregon City Enterprise Zone encompass industrial areas along Beavercreek Road, the Red Soils area and north of Highway 213 – an area approximately 1.2 square miles.

A qualifying urban Enterprise Zone company is eligible to receive a property tax abatement to build a new facility, expand their existing facilities, and/or to invest in machinery and hire new employees at higher wages.

Urban Renewal Area

Oregon City has one urban renewal area, the Downtown/Northend URA. The URA includes Downtown Oregon City, Singer Hill Road and High Street in the Historic McLoughlin area, the area around The Cove and Abernathy Road to Highway 213. Please refer to the Downtown/Northend URA map for more details.

What Kinds of Projects Does Urban Renewal Support?

Activities eligible for urban renewal funding generally include:
• Rehabilitation or conversation work
• Real property acquisition
• Demolition, removal, or rehabilitation of buildings and improvements
• Installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, and site improvements
• Assisting in the relocation of persons
• Disposition of property acquired in the urban renewal area
• Undertaking and carrying out neighborhood development programs.

Activities that are typically ineligible for urban renewal funding include non-capital improvements, temporary improvements, and grants or loans for operating expenses.

Who Manages the Urban Renewal Area?

The Economic Development Department manages the property and programs on behalf of the City Manager and the Urban Renewal Commission.

GOT QUESTIONS? WANT TO SEE MORE OPTIONS? WE’RE HERE TO HELP.

James Graham
James Graham
Economic Development Manager
Ann Griffin
Ann Griffin
Economic Development Coordinator