Bellhop, a well-loved downtown comfort food restaurant may be no more – but then nobody really knows for sure. The place has ‘temporarily’ closed, and one of the principals has said there will be some changes, and that he is excited rather than sad.
A reliable source reveals there is some kind of ownership change in the works, and the space will remain a restaurant. And, that’s all we know, which isn’t much, so let’s move along.
Corvallis Farmers’ Market Resumes: Downtown will see a welcomed increase in foot traffic starting Saturday, April 15. The hours are 9 am to 1 pm, every Saturday and Wednesday until Dec. 9.
The big announcement for this year, the Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Market, or CAFM has discontinued its online platform for ordering. However, they are continuing a program for SNAP card holders that matches each dollar spent up to $20 – the deal is called, Double Up Bucks.
Electrify Corvallis on Display: Founded in 2021, Electrify Corvallis has already managed to build strong alliances in the local nonprofit sustainability sector. Read as, their upcoming Green Living Home and EV Expo at the Benton County fairgrounds is co-sponsored by the Corvallis League of Women Voters, and the EV component of the event was actually organized for Electrify by the Sustainability Coalition.
This relatively new NPO has attracted a wide variety of vendors to showcase new products, and there will be a variety of electric vehicles on display too. In fact, a number of electric vehicle owners will be on hand to share their experiences, and participants may even be able to grab a few test drives.
Court Smith, PhD. is president and treasurer, and Wendy Woods, PhD. is vice-president and secretary.
In Other Restaurant News: If you own or manage a restaurant, bar or food truck, the Corvallis Area Restaurants and Bars Alliance, or CARB, will be having their first official meeting on Monday, April 17 at 3 pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to obtain an invite.
Did Fed Just Say They Really-Really Like Us Oregonians: U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo lauded Oregon’s work to expand the semiconductor industry during a visit to Portland Community College on the eve of the state House passing the $210 million Oregon CHIPS Act.
She joined Sen. Ron Wyden, Gov. Tina Kotek and U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici on a short tour of a mechatronics lab at Portland Community College’s Hillsboro campus, speaking with high school and college students preparing for jobs in the semiconductor industry.
The Commerce Department, which Raimondo oversees, is in charge of distributing $52 billion in federal funding for the semiconductor industry made available by last summer’s passage of the federal CHIPS and Science Act. Oregon, long an industry hub, is in fierce competition with other states for a share of the funding.
Raimondo said it was too soon to commit to sending federal money to Oregon, but she praised the state as “exceptional.”
“Based on what I’ve seen here today, I think you will be extremely competitive,” Raimondo said.
She called out Oregon’s strong semiconductor base – about 15% of the nation’s semiconductor workforce lives in Oregon, though the state is only about 1.3% of the nation’s population. And Raimondo praised the Legislature and Kotek for spending state money on job training, direct investments in companies and selecting manufacturing sites in the Oregon CHIPS Act.
“It’s world class, the way you’re thinking about job training, investments in technology, investments in infrastructure,” she said. “The governor is committed to making permitting streamlined. You’re doing everything right, and we just have to partner with you to help you be successful.”
The state’s main contribution so far has been the Oregon CHIPS Act, a $210 million proposal that’s now been approved by both Oregon’s Senate and House. It includes $190 million in grants and loans for companies seeking federal funding to expand in Oregon, along with $10 million for research at universities and $10 million to help with land development costs.
The measure gives Kotek the authority to designate some land outside urban growth boundaries – the invisible line that governs where cities can expand – as industrial land that can be annexed for semiconductor plants or other advanced manufacturing. Hillsboro, in particular, is seeking to annex hundreds of acres of farmland that could be used for a major manufacturing facility.
“This is a place where this industry is slated to just boom,” said Bonamici, who represents the area. “We have a skilled semiconductor workforce here in Washington County, but we have tremendous potential to grow.”
The bill doesn’t include a research and development tax credit, which industry leaders have said is crucial, and Kotek said her office is working on that.
“Before the session gets out, we’re going to be talking about more research and development incentives to help those companies,” she said.
The commerce department’s funding guidelines prioritize projects that will provide training and bring underrepresented populations, including women and people of color, into the tech industry. University and community college leaders who participated in a discussion with Raimondo described how Oregon institutions are already working on that.
Portland Community College, for instance, offers an accelerated 10-day training program in partnership with the city of Hillsboro and Intel to prepare people for entry-level jobs as semiconductor technicians. They earn about $18-$24 with full benefits once hired. The program has a 71% placement rate and a waiting list of 400 students, said college President Adrien Bennings during a roundtable after the tour.
At the Oregon Institute of Technology, with campuses in Klamath Falls and Wilsonville, 96% of students who complete the two-year program find jobs in the field and earn a median income higher than $60,000, university president Nagi Naganathan said at the roundtable.
The challenge for Oregon is keeping those talented students in state, said state Sen. Janeen Sollman, a Hillsboro Democrat and co-chair of the legislative semiconductor committee.
“It’s about keeping our kids here working here in Oregon,” she said. “These are incredibly well-paid jobs with tuition reimbursement and benefits. This is about having a skilled workforce, skilled labor that is here.”
And now, your business events calendar…
Family Business 360: Learn how this family manages becoming an industry leading grass seed company over six generations of transition and growth. Becky Berger of Berger International discusses her experiences marrying into a family business, dealing with transitions, and planning for new growth.
Join virtually for April’s Family Business 360 event, hosted by the OSU College of Business Center for Family Enterprise.
Wednesday, April 12 at 8:30 am to 9:30 am. Click here for information and access.
Chamber of Commerce Success Events Series: Third in a series three standalone classes, so you won’t have needed to have attended the prior classes to benefit from this last one – April 12 brings a class focused on building a conscious company culture. The fee is $110.
Class will be at the Chamber of Commerce office, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. This is a Chamber member event, click here to register.
Business After Hours: Corvallis Chamber of Commerce event with a new host every time, in this instance, Knife River Training Center in Albany. Wednesday, April 19, from 5 to 7 pm. Preregister admission is $15 for members, and $20 for non-members. Add $5 if you’re paying at the door.
Knife River Training Center is at 35973 Kennel Rd SE, Albany. Click here to register.
Grad School for Biz: This virtual session introduces the Graduate Business Programs at Oregon State University. The online session we will cover graduate program options in the College of Business, including the MBA, Master’s, and Graduate Certificates programs. We will also introduce the curriculum, program tracks, admission and financial aid, and what sets Oregon State apart from other programs. Oregon State University offers graduate business programs in Portland, Corvallis, and online.
- Wednesday, April 19 from 12 to 1 pm, click here to register.
- Wednesday, April 19 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, click here to register.
Women in Business Luncheon: Leah Bayles’ talk will be titled Grow with it! Soulful Strategies to Shift “Oh No!” to “Yes, I can!”
Bayles is a holistic life coach, transformational speaker and podcast host. She seeks to empowers big-hearted, high achievers to create the life and the impact they love – without wearing themselves out. Her career in holistic wellness has included positions as Heartspring Mind-body Therapist, SHS Employee Wellness Coordinator and Integrative Yoga Therapy program director.
Bayles will cover:
- 5 common beliefs about life’s challenges that may be limiting your health, happiness and success.
- The #1 thing you need to know to instantly transform stress into productive energy.
- Why positive thinking can become a trap – plus how to escape it so you can expand into possibility thinking.
12 to 1 pm, Thursday, Apr. 20 at Courtyard Marriott in Corvallis, 400 SW 1st Street. Click here to register.
Farm 2 Fork Webinar: Crafted in Oregon. Built By Community. Oregon has created some of the most iconic food and beverage brands in the world, but what makes this state such a unique place to start and scale those types of companies? This presentation will explore some of the foundational aspects of this ecosystem.
12 to 12:45 pm, Friday, Apr. 21. Virtual. Registration required, so click here to do that.
OSU Health Professionals Fair: The Health Professions Fair connects students with admissions representatives from over 60 medical and health professions schools in Oregon and across the country. This FREE event will be held Tuesday, April 25th from 10 am to 2 pm in the MU Ballroom. Students from all majors, first-year through seniors, are welcome. For more information, visit the event website.
Tuesday, April 25 from 10 am to 2 pm, at the Memorial Union Building (MU), Ballroom.
Corvallis Young Pros: Networking opportunity for young professionals, with a touch of fundraising for Zonta, if you’re feeling it. No membership is required, and attendees are encouraged to bring a friend.
They welcome anyone interested in engaging with their community and local businesses. There will be free nibbles and drinks for purchase. 5 to 7 pm, Tuesday, Apr. 25 at 4 Spirits Distillery, 3405 SW Deschutes Street, Corvallis. Click here to register.