MEDFORD, Ore. — This month, 32 years after the organization was founded, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI) says that is topped $20 million in loans for local businesses.
"Since its inception SOREDI’s loan portfolio has now generated 243 loans totaling more than $20 million lent and impacting nearly 2,250 retained and created jobs," the organization said.
For recipients of those loans, it's been nothing but a blessing.
"It enabled us to purchase the property that we’re in and it enabled the other tenants in here to continue to be here relatively unchanged. With that comes job security, knowing that things will kinda stay the same and keep going,” said Rob Steuk, owner of Vintner's Kitchen in Talent. The company makes and distributes its own bespoke wine and canned goods.
Steuk said that the company has been in its current space for nine years. Six months ago, they connected with SOREDI. Within three or four months, they had a check that enabled them to buy the building.
“SOREDI’s a great resource for local businesses, you just got to work hard, have a vision, work hard at that vision," Steuk said. "They’re more than willing to work with you and help you and nurture the business and the area we live in and it kinda makes the whole place better off.”
Other recent recipients of SOREDI's gap financing were adult foster care group Community Life LLC and The Rogue Winery.
SOREDI is fantastic and has always met our expectations as we have experienced rapid growth and needed quick capital assistance," said Linda Donovan of The Rogue Winery. "The flexible, professional response provided was remarkable.”
The Business Development Loan Fund that SOREDI uses to support businesses only extends to Jackson and Josephine counties, and was created to "fill a gap in financing for eligible businesses that may not be able to receive sufficient funding through traditional resources."
SOREDI partners with local banks, Business Oregon, and other lending associates to connect entrepreneurs with loans, then steps in to fill the gap.