Retain Local Businesses

Malheur County P2P’s “Retain Local Business” committee is focused on preserving and growing our local businesses. As part of our efforts to encourage a vibrant and thriving business climate, the Malheur County Court reenergized their economic development strategy. The reorganized department included hiring an expert in Eastern Oregon Business Development to help build local business and assist those looking to start a new business. Learn more about this endeavor by clicking here.

Research shows that up to 86% of new jobs are created by existing businesses in a community rather than businesses attracted to a community. Based upon this research the Retention Committee makes the following recommendations:


  • Career and technical school have staff dedicated to matching successful students with local company needs. This initiative will act as a motivation to students to be involved in the program (with a job waiting in the future) as well as build a strong relationship with local businesses. Services provided could include pre-screening students for employers, linking to TVCC or other schools for additional training needs beyond the skill level at the career and technical school.
  • The career and technical school must have an employment training panel made up of local businesses and training program personnel. The panel should direct the school in workforce development in specific industry fields with an eye towards upgrades and continuous training technique evolution.
  • Building a strong partnership with TVCC Biz Center which is currently providing support services to existing businesses and potential local entrepreneurs.
  • Explore using the services of a Business Retention and Expansion program (such as BRE&E International or University of Minnesota BR&E Visitation Program)
  • Request that Malheur County and the cities within its boundaries:
    • Designate a Business Retention Liaison which serves as the key contact to help business owners through the permit and development process
    • Take steps to demonstrate to local businesses that the community appreciates their contribution to the local economy
    • Help existing businesses solve problems
    • Develop strategic plans for long-range business retention and expansion activities
    • Improve communication between businesses and elected officials and the city / county / state staff, giving the business a voice in decisions that impact them, their employees and their customers.