On March 16, 2023, the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approved $2 million in low interest loans and $150,000 in grants for economic revitalization and public infrastructure renovation intended to spur business growth and job creation in communities throughout the state.
The allocations are as follows:
- Columbia County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Columbia for the “BMS Craft Malt & Grain Cluster Study.” This planning study will determine the feasibility, optimal configuration, and next steps for developing the infrastructure to enhance the artisan grain business cluster at Blue Mountain Station, the port’s 21-acre food park. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
- Douglas County – $50,000 grant to the City of Rock Island for the “Marketing and Stakeholder Outreach Strategic Plan,” and the development of a marketing and outreach strategic plan to attract targeted businesses to the city’s Industrial Development District. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
- Kitsap County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Brownsville for the “Port Property Development Feasibility Study,” and the development of a strategic plan to determine the infrastructure necessary to develop port properties for economic development. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
- Walla Walla County – $2 million loan to the Port of Walla Walla for the “Life Flight Networks Hangar and Crew Base.” This project is for the design and construction of a hangar for Life Flight Networks and crew quarters for a 24-hour base of operations that provides life-saving transport for seriously ill or injured patients. Their Committed Private Partner, Life Flight Network LLC, is investing $5.5 million in the project, which estimates to create and retain 29 jobs. CERB funds are matched by $500,000 in local resources.
“CERB projects represent an important partnership between the state and local communities resulting in enhanced economic vitality. These four projects exhibit the range and scope of projects funded by CERB. These projects will ultimately lead to job growth across the State through infrastructure development and planning,” said CERB Chair Michael Echanove.
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.
Since 1982, CERB has committed more than $243.8 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 39,000 jobs, and private capital investment of $6.3 billion – a $26-to-$1 return on CERB investments. Read the 2022 CERB Legislative Report to learn more.
As Washington’s strategic economic revitalization 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.
Photo of Port of Walla Walla courtesy of Port of Walla Walla.