SOREDI responds to county dropping membership

Statement Regarding Josephine County’s Decision Not to Renew SOREDI
Membership Funding
On Thursday, August 17, we learned that the Josephine County Board of County Commissioners voted NOT to renew their membership with SOREDI, which provides agency support to serve as the regional economic development agency. We are greatly disappointed in what we believe is a highly uninformed

decision. We are equally disappointed that we were not given the courtesy to be informed nor present when the decision was made.
Josephine County is one of our Founding Fathers, dating back to 1987, along with Jackson County, the City of Medford, and the City of Grants Pass. The agency was formed as a non-profit to respond to outside companies seeking to relocate/expand within our region, make outreach to and provide pertinent resources for primarily industrial companies and headquarters in Southern Oregon, assist startups, and more.
Industrial companies make incremental new capital investments in the region – wherever they choose to locate – and employ a skilled workforce that provides higher wages and compensation, creating primary jobs that support retail/commercial businesses. Without primary jobs in any economy, secondary jobs in our downtowns and commercial centers do not have a strong base of customers to purchase their goods and services. In addion, industrial companies create goods and services that are sold outside our economy which creates new revenues that circulate within our region, adding wealth to the entire business ecosystem.
Counties rely on property taxes to support most of the services they provide to their citizens within their jurisdiction. Without large facility and equipment investments made by manufacturers and larger companies, the property tax base will only grow marginally. Contrary to the statement made by the commissioners, SOREDI and other similar partners who provide economic development services are not supported by taxpayer funding but rather through a portion of Oregon Lotery proceeds that are returned to the counties by the State.
Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI) www.soredi.org | 1311 East Barnet, Ste. 301, Medford, OR 97504.
SOREDI serves businesses at every level, including existing companies, smaller commercial businesses, and entrepreneurs. We work extremely hard to ensure every business that seeks assistance is supported or referred appropriately to partner agencies such as Small Business Development Centers, Chambers of Commerce, and community development organizations.
Our 5-person professional stati will continue to passionately serve the regional business community and our presence in Josephine County will not change. We are taking constructive steps now to communicate services that are available and assure businesses that SOREDI still values the economic contributions they make in Josephine County, and throughout all 15 jurisdictions, all of whom have invested in the region’s One Rogue Valley Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and signed the region’s Business Friendly Proclamation.
If you are concerned about Josephine County’s recent decision regarding its SOREDI support, we encourage you to reach out to the Josephine County Board of Commissioners.
To discuss with a SOREDI team member, please reach out to info@soredi.org or (541) 773-8946 and we will respond as quickly as possible. President Chris DuBose, chris.dubose@fib.com, (541) 944-2906, or Vice-President Tom Fischer, tom@fischercommercialnw.com, (541) 944-8174, are also available.
Colleen Padilla – Executive Director