Notes from Colleen’s Desk: Turning Bummers into Blessings

“Come on, perk up. Won’t you smile for me?”

Ah yes, words of wisdom from Snow White herself.  She has it right. We are all just ready to move on, right?  Get past that thing. The thing which we do not even want to verbalize one more time.

Pandemic. Political unrest. Disaster. I am completely over words like “unprecedented” and “social distancing”. How about you?

We have stayed home. We have pivoted. We have bumbled through new technologies (me mostly) to make all those virtual meetings possible. We have resisted yet another zoom meeting.

We have grumbled about the masks and been grumpy with those who either do not wear one or demand that you do. Mask has become our latest four-letter word!

Doc would say “Mark my words, there’s trouble a-brewin’.” But only if you choose to go that route. It is, after all, up to you. Every. Single. Day.


Meanwhile on Halloween, I took a Saturday road trip. It is a different kind of social distancing – disregarding, of course, my dog breathing down my neck from the back-passenger seat.

I purposefully sought to bring opportunity to a few unsuspecting businesses in the hinterlands of our region. From Eagle Point to Butte Falls to Prospect to Shady Cove and back again, it was a Spooktacular 100-mile plus meandering to drop in and say hi to more than a dozen small ventures tucked away in rural southern Oregon.

Call it a cold call if you will. I sported hiking pants, boots and my “Roguediculous” ball cap. But when you have good news to share that might turn someone’s bummer into a blessing, you just get out as you are and get it done.

SOREDI is wildly serious about business development in our region. It is not just a pithy tag line. It’s truth.  That probably has something to do with why we were able to get $650,000 in grants out the door (in partnership with CCD Business Corporation) to 128 businesses in our region in the span of just 3 weeks. Whoop!

We are still relentlessly working behind the scenes to get matching grant funds from Jackson County and Business Oregon into the hands of some struggling small businesses. About $145,000 remains to be claimed by small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19, have received very nominal PPP, and have not received other grant assistance. Read our press release here:

The clock is ticking. Do not be bashful. Do not be sleepy. Avoid being dopey by all means and share the link!

Completed applications are due November 13. Send this link now to your hairdresser or nail technician, your favorite small restaurant, your dog parlor, your massage therapist, and your cleaning service.

Speaking of blessings – have I mentioned lately that SOREDI has a stellar staff? This week we celebrated two work anniversaries. Noland Alston (aka Oatmeal), Business Development Loan Manager marks 5 years with SOREDI! Carrie Basham (aka Chocolate Chip), Administrative Assistant, is now with us 2 years.  And next week, your Executive Director will begin her 20th year with SOREDI.

You might be bummed about the election results by the time you read this. Or that you must postpone your holiday blessings party, like I have chosen to do. Or that you will still be donning that mask.

May I encourage you instead to bake some cookies and bless your neighbor, the business next door, or your SOREDI staff? Smile here.

“With a little effort and kindness, you never know who or how you will affect those you encounter. We can spread more than the virus in 2020,” says SOREDI’s Snow White. Instead of throwing an annual Halloween party in their home, Snow White and Prince Charming (Amy and Chris Browne) became the party themselves and took their kindness on the road.

Our floor may be locked, but we open doors for businesses and for cookies! Skip the apple and bake a batch of cookies!

Blessings to you.

Colleen Padilla, Executive Director

Cookie Name: Snickerdoodle

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