Economy

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

Karen Richards

At just about a year since its formation, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network or “RAIN” in Eugene is thriving.

RAIN Eugene is a collaboration of the Chamber of Commerce, the Cities of Eugene and Springfield and the University of Oregon. It strives to help startups launch and generate local jobs and growth. Sixteen companies have completed the program. Only a couple of those have closed. Most are looking for partners, funding or to hire employees. Chief Startup Officer Joe Maruschak (MARUSE-CHECK) says momentum is building.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

At high-end grocers in Paris or Tokyo, wild mushrooms flown in from the Northwest can fetch upwards of $100 a pound. That supply chain invariably begins on a dirty folding table on the side of a backwoods highway. In this second of two reports on the morel mushroom economy, Rowan Moore Gerety takes us to a buying station in the mountain town of Twisp.

City of Eugene

The City of Eugene has coordinated a pilot project to bring high-speed fiber optic cable to three buildings downtown. Two were connected last week.

Fiber optic lines already span much of Eugene. The schools, the city, and major medical facilities have it. But a lot of other fiber is “dark.” It hasn’t been taken from its source to people who would use it. The city spent 100-thousand dollars to help light some of the dark cable, hoping to attract and retain businesses downtown. Economic Development Planner Anne Fifield says it’s not just tech companies who can benefit:

Rachael McDonald

Whole Foods is finally coming to Eugene. Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday downtown.

Eugene Airport

This fall, Eugene air passengers will have a new nonstop flight option. Horizon Air announced today (Monday) they're adding daily direct flights to San Jose.

San Jose was identified over five years ago as an underserved market. A partnership between the Eugene Airport and several economic development groups secured a half-million dollar grant to help establish the new service. Dave Hauser is President of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce:

oregon.gov

Oregon officials are visiting the Dominican Republic and Panama as part of a trade delegation this week.

There are two industries interested in Latin American market expansion; Christmas trees and potato farming. The trade mission is being led by the US Department of Agriculture. ODA Trade Manager Julia Turner says Asia is still Oregon's top export priority, but reaching out to other markets is important as well.

Eugene, Bend Postal Plants Will Remain Open For Now

May 28, 2015
Portland Communities and Postal Workers United

The US Postal Service has announced that it will defer closing postal facilities in Eugene and Bend.

Bend and Eugene/Springfield were among more than 50 mail processing facilities nationwide originally slated to close this summer. For now, letters sent from Bend will still be processed in Bend, instead of being sent to Portland.

Peter Hass is a spokesman for the Postal Service.

UO Foundation

The University of Oregon Foundation dropped a bombshell Tuesday when it announced it would not pursue the redevelopment of EWEB's riverfront property in downtown Eugene.

Eugene Water & Electric Board Commissioners chose the UO Foundation last October over two Portland developers to transform the utility's 17-acre diamond in the rough property along the Willamette River. But the Foundation has now backed out, saying the deal is too financially risky.

Over the next few years, more trucks in Oregon may be running on the waste from yesterday’s burgers. Oregon-based SeQuential Biofuels has upgraded its equipment and added jobs, to prepare for a growing market.

In mid-March, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the Clean Fuels Program bill. It requires sellers and manufacturers of transportation fuel to implement the reduced emissions rules legislators developed over the past five years. SeQuential’s Rachel Shaver says they’re expecting increased demand because the new law looks at lifecycle emissions:

Three Rivers Casino Opening In Coos Bay

May 6, 2015
http://threeriverscasino.com/sites/default/files/Picture2.jpg?1423607232

A new casino is opening in Coos Bay Thursday, bringing jobs and competition to the area. It will be called the Three Rivers Casino in Coos Bay.

Three Rivers projects the new casino will add more than 90 full time jobs with benefits in Coos Bay. The original casino is in Florence. The new expansion is part of the evolution into a full resort property according to Assistant general manager, Bob Garcia.

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