NeighborWorks Umpqua is looking to strengthen the economy by investing in local fisheries or agriculture projects.

Applications for part of the $25,000 investment are due to Michelle Martin at NeighborWorks Umpqua by July 15.

Organization spokesman Nick Noyes said in an email the funding comes from NorthWest Area Foundation as a result of the WealthWorks Northwest project in 2015 and 2016.

“WealthWorks is an economic development model that is highly successful and is the basis for the way that NWU does Economic and Community Development work,” Noyes said. “It is about bringing together the community’s assets to meet market demand in ways that build strong communities that will last.”

The investment is targeting the commercial fishing and cranberry industries specifically. NeighborWorks Umpqua is looking for applicants and potential applicants that meet the requirements.

“This is our second such investment, and we were able to convince the funder of the success of the original investments with the WealthWorks projects and the impacts that they are having on our coastal communities enough to have them provide funds for this grant to invest,” Noyes said.

Projects must increase the economic value of local, traceable seafood and agriculture while improving the vitality of those industries on the coast. They must have general community support with the potential to lead long-term collaborations. They must impact the community positively in a measurable way by addressing needs in their industries.

Once the initial information is received, a team at NeighborWorks Umpqua will review it and make recommendations. Businesses will be directed to work with the local Small Business Development Center to develop a comprehensive business plan and look at market demand data.

Funds are set to be released in September. Applications can be sent to Michelle Martin at She can be reached at 541-414-6368.

Janelle Polcyn can be reached at or 541-957-4204. Or follow her on Twitter @JanellePolcyn.

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Janelle Polcyn is a reporter at The News-Review, graduated from the University of Texas, and is a podcast enthusiast.

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