Chamber awards business seed grants


“I’m very thankful to the McKenzie Chamber of Commerce for approving my request for a grant to help the Indigo Cafe rise from the ashes.” Cafe owner Linda Chmiel said the $3,000 will allow her, “To begin the process of getting the Cafe up and running so that I can continue to serve this community and its visitors healthy, delicious food.”

Chmiel wasn’t alone in getting good news last week as the McKenzie Chamber announced the first round of dispersing $35,000 worth of economic recovery aid. The money was part of what Lane County received via Oregon House Bill 5042 in April.

At the Chamber’s June 10th meeting, five businesses and organizations were also approved for help in recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 and/or the Holiday Farm Fire.

The business awards included $3,500 to the Vida Café, to replace a commercial refrigerator and $5,000 to the Orchid Clinic to help pay for some of the costs to remodel a former quilt shop to function as a temporary medical clinic until a replacement for their burned facility in Blue River can be rebuilt.

$2,000 was awarded to McKenzie Community Communications to install another public wifi site in either McKenzie Bridge or Blue River. Another $8,000 was granted to improve sanitary facilities - $3,000 for needed restrooms at the Blue River Park and $5,000 to help cover costs of Port-A-Potties at area boat landings.

Chamber president Nadine Scott said the organization still has another $13,500 it would like to disperse soon. She encourages businesses to come up with specific proposals and submit them by June 23rd to: [email protected].


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