State board invests more than $2 million to grow local economies
Funds will support economic development in Clark, Whitman, and Yakima counties
The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) today announced nearly $2.1 million in public investments targeting business growth and job creation across the state.
“Tools like CERB help Washington businesses succeed, supporting jobs and increasing our state’s competitiveness,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “CERB’s dedication to helping communities around Washington is vital to our state’s economy.”
Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $168 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 34,000 jobs. The board approved the following projects at their July 18 meeting:
· Clark County - $499,000 loan to the Port of Camas-Washougal to construct a food processing and distribution center for Foods in Season, an industry leader in wild-foraged foods from the Pacific Northwest sold to high-end restaurants in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The Port of Camas-Washougal will match CERB’s investment with $1,350,000 in local funds to complete the distribution center. Foods in Season will invest $500,000 in private equipment and create 10 permanent jobs as a result of this project.
· Whitman County - $500,000 loan and $100,000 grant to the Port of Whitman to build two rail spur segments, providing infrastructure to support additional rail cars delivering bulk commodities to the McGregor Company, a Washington fertilizer and agri-chemical company. The Port of Whitman will match CERB’s investment with $137,856 in local funds to construct the rail spurs. The McGregor Company will invest $10 million in their private facility and create 10 jobs as a result of this project.
· Yakima County - $850,000 loan and $150,000 grant to the Port of Sunnyside to construct a wastewater pre-treatment facility for the expansion of the Darigold facility located at the Port. The Port of Sunnyside will match CERB’s investment with $5 million in local and federal funds for the wastewater improvements. The new infrastructure will allow the creation of 25 new jobs and retention of 137 existing jobs at the facility. Darigold expects to invest $22 million in their private facility as a result of this project.
“CERB projects represent an important partnership between the state and local communities resulting in enhanced economic vitality,” said CERB Chair Mark Urdahl. “The projects approved for funding represent the agricultural and food processing sector in rural areas of our state. The board is pleased to collaborate with each of these communities to create permanent private sector jobs for Washington families.”
The release of CERB funds to these projects is contingent upon each applicant completing specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits.
As Washington’s strategic economic development resource, CERB is focused on creating private sector jobs in partnership with local governments by financing infrastructure improvements. These improvements encourage new business development and expansion. In addition to funding construction projects, CERB provides limited funding for studies that evaluate high-priority economic development projects. Learn more about CERB at http://www.commerce.wa.gov/cerb. CERB receives administrative support from the Washington State Department of Commerce. For more information on the Department of Commerce, visitwww.commerce.wa.gov.