SOREDI Tops $20 Million Lent Milestone with Gap Financing Program

SOREDI is thrilled to report it has topped a significant milestone in its 32-year history as the region’s economic development agency, surpassing $20 million lent to expanding businesses in Southern Oregon via its Business Development Loan Fund.

Since its inception SOREDI’s loan portfolio has now generated 243 loans totaling more than $20 million lent and impacting nearly 2,250 retained and created jobs.

With recent loans in the last several months made to three distinctly different business ventures, Vintner’s Kitchen in Talent (a commercial kitchen), Community Life LLC  (adult foster care) and The Rogue Winery (custom crush operation), SOREDI readily hit the milestone at $20,465,562 lent to date.

Linda Donovan (pictured), The Rogue Winery comments that “SOREDI is fantastic and has always met our expectations as we have experienced rapid growth and needed quick capital assistance. The flexible, professional response provided was remarkable.”

Rob and Karli Steuk, owners of Vintner’s Kitchen note that “the gap financing provided by SOREDI, allowed us to purchase the building we were renting. This gave us the opportunity to expand, as well as creating a greater sense of security for us and the other tenants in the building.”

Perhaps one of the agency’s most rewarding testimonials came from Carl Cicero from the Midway Country Store in Butte Falls several months ago, via an unexpected phone call. “Thank you SOREDI for your support through the loan program. While my loan was paid off at least 20 years ago, when I was able to refinance at a bank, I would not have been able to have my business without your help. I just paid off my bank loan and am remembering SOREDI today. I had to call and say thanks!”

Dating back to 1994, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) made revolving loans and grants to SOREDI to establish and implement this gap-financing loan program. Most of the original loans have been repaid. SOREDI’s lending program is now self-funding and supports 1.5 staff positions.

The Business Development Loan Fund is limited to the support of companies located in Jackson and Josephine Counties and was created to fill a gap in financing for eligible businesses that may not be able to receive sufficient funding through traditional resources.  SOREDI partners with local banks, Business Oregon, and other lending associates; in most cases the agency takes a subordinate position to complete the lending package. Loans are approved by an 8-member loan committee comprised of experienced bankers, professional accountants, and successful entrepreneurs.

According to Noland Alston, SOREDI’s Business Development Loan Manger, “SOREDI is uniquely positioned to help businesses fill the gap in their capital finance plan and move forward. Our loan packages are more flexible and creative than traditional bank financing. While our loan committee certainly looks to keep the loan program whole and looks for repayment and minimal return on its investment, the agency holds new and retained jobs as the one of the primary metrics for evaluation.” Applicants may seek funding for building purchase, business acquisition, construction, equipment and working capital.

Currently, the agency has nearly $2 million available to lend. Executive Director Colleen Padilla states “SOREDI receives referrals from many partners along with numerous direct inquiries. It is rewarding to provide a much-needed service in our region; we continue to seek even more creative ways to fill the gap for growing local businesses.”

In addition to the loan fund, SOREDI provides complimentary business services to local businesses, connecting directly to the resources that will enable them to grow or solve their imminent challenges. These services are available at no charge, to any business in Jackson or Josephine County, due to the support of the agency’s growing private-public membership base, which includes all 15 jurisdictions, and federal resources.

Companies operating in Jackson and Josephine Counties can request information regarding the Business Development Loan Fund or any of SOREDI’s complimentary services by calling 541-773-8946.

About SOREDI: SOREDI is a private, membership-based, non-profit organization, governed by a board of directors. Its eight-person staff is charged with local business expansion and new business recruitment efforts, financial assistance to start-up companies through its business loan fund, and management of Enterprise Zones in Jackson and Josephine Counties. The agency was formed as a regional economic development agency in 1987. Learn more at

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