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Economic Development Programs and Partnerships

Existing programs and partnerships supporting community partners with the goal to create equitable economic opportunity and mobility.


The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE)

The CPACE program allows owners of eligible real property to obtain long-term, low-interest rate financing from private capital providers for certain qualified projects. Eligible properties may include any privately-owned commercial, industrial, agricultural, or multi-family (with five or more dwelling units) real property. The County’s CPACE page is still in development, come back here for more information.


Support for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency and corresponding economic downturn, Washington County has been proactively responding with a range of small business support programs.

In 2020, the County allocated millions in Federal CARES Act and other funds for small businesses, either directly or through partnerships with a variety of entities—cities, community based-organizations (CBOs), and others. Initially, the County focused on responding to the immediate needs of the small business community by providing emergency aid as well as guidance and resources for safe reopening. This included collaborating with community partners to provide culturally specific resources. 

In September of 2021 the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Washington County Economic Development Program for small businesses and entrepreneurs with a centering equity. Guided by the BCC adopted, nationally recognized ARPA framework, an allocation of funds was made available for enhanced business support services tailored to communities disproportionately impacted by the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the County's YouTube page to view more partnership success stories.

Business Recovery Centers (now closed)

Business Recover Centers led efforts to support small businesses through the early stages of the pandemic acting as a one-stop triage unit where small business and entrepreneurs could access free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and get select business assistance services or referrals to other specialized business support organizations.

Washington County Small Business Support Network (WCSBSN)

Supporting a thriving business support ecosystem with clear and culturally-relevant access points for all small businesses and entrepreneurs is essential for growing a diverse local economy. Recognizing this need, the Economic Development Program is focused on strengthening the network of non-profit business organizations active across the County through the growing WCSBSN. All nonprofit business support organizations serving Washington County businesses and entrepreneurs are welcome to participate. If you represent a business support non-profit organization and would like to participate in the WCSBSN, please contact us at [email protected]

Equitable Economic Recovery Grants

The Equitable Recovery Grants continue to provide direct support and technical assistance to underserved communities, including urban unincorporated areas and communities of color, who have been most adversely impacted by the pandemic.

The four organizations that have partnered with the County in administering these grants include Centro Cultural de Washington County, Professional Business Development Group (PBDG), Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), and Adelante Mujeres and are focused on providing culturally specific services to small businesses recovering from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly within communities that have been disproportionately impacted such as Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x/e, immigrant and refugee communities and others.

Capacity Building Grants

Building capacity within local nonprofit business support organizations promotes an equitable recovery and long-term economic resiliency. The purpose of these grants is to fund internal planning needs, feasibility studies, program development and/or professional development opportunities for staff, and technology infrastructure that help grow capacity within nonprofit business support organizations and increase the number of small businesses and entrepreneurs served in Washington County.

Workforce Development

Investments in workforce partnership are needed in the immediate term to support workers adversely impacted by the pandemic and to set the groundwork for future workers through strategic investments in youth and adult training and career development programs.

The Economic Development Program currently has 9 contracts with organizations and local agencies, many of whom are providing culturally specific services to their clients. These include Immigrant Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Urban League, Muslim Educational Trust, Northwest Regional Education Service District, Portland Youth Builders, Portland Community College, Worksystems, Inc.

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