Pamplin Media Group – Oregon City prepares to launch loan program for new businesses


$100,000 goes to startup companies through a partnership with Clackamas Federal Credit Union, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon.

A new pilot program in Oregon City aims to boost the local economy and provide startup companies with much-needed long-term capital.

Oregon City’s new Entrepreneurial Opportunity Loan Program will award a total of $100,000 this year to business owners who have been in business for three years or less. Applicants can get loans up to $20,000 to fund their growing businesses.

This unique public-private partnership brings together city officials, Clackamas Federal Credit Union and Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon.

“This is a critical time to launch this initiative as individuals seek to control their own destiny by starting their own private business and are more resilient because of their experiences of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said James, Economic Development Manager by Oregon City Graham.

To participate, a company must be an Oregon City resident, have a business plan, and provide personal sponsorship. Borrowers selected to participate do not have to make any principal or interest payments for the first 12 months.

In the first year, interest is charged at 0.5%, after 12 months the interest is adjusted to 3 percentage points above the main interest rate. Borrowers have up to five years to repay the loan.

“The Entrepreneurial Opportunity Loan Program aligns very well with Clackamas Federal Credit Union’s mission,” said Katie Gillespie, the credit union’s director of business services. “We are excited to be working with Oregon City to launch this pilot program and support business owners in our community.”

Cobi Lewis, Executive Director of Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon, said MESO’s mission is to empower and empower historically marginalized and underfunded entrepreneurs with tailored support and flexible capital to build family wealth through small business ownership.

“Access to adequate capital is critical to the success of start-up companies, which is why MESO is excited to be part of this project,” said Lewis. “Our contribution is to provide technical business development assistance to companies interested in the program, including business planning, market research and help with the loan application process itself.”

On August 1, more information about the program will be available on Oregon City’s new economic development website, Eligible applicants are invited to apply online between August 15th and September 30th. You can also pick up an application at City Hall, 625 Center St.

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