Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon

Small rural communities often face numerous environmental and economic challenges but lack leadership to develop a unified action plan

RCAC’s BRE initiative provides leadership training and economic development resources to ensure that rural communities throughout the West will be vibrant, healthy and enduring

The City of Enterprise needed assistance with economic development and downtown revitalization. The city and its downtown merchants lacked direction to develop opportunities for new and existing business support. RCAC worked with the city of Enterprise’s citizens through the Building Rural Economies (BRE) initiative to develop an action plan, objectives and timeframes. The BRE strategy concentrates on local resources, markets and opportunities, and then builds a network of leaders, entrepreneurs and support around these assets. RCAC works with local organizations to network, train leaders, plan economic development strategies and support plan implementation.

The city asked RCAC to facilitate meetings among stakeholders involved with downtown, businesses and economic development to conduct strategic planning, develop priorities and target projects for downtown revitalization and business opportunities

RCAC staff helped downtown businesses work together to promote local events, shared marketing and value added community and entertainment opportunities with a theater renovation project. It is anticipated the theater will create new jobs for local residents, which can involve youth and elderly. The project also will involve spin off business opportunities in entertainment, music, live theater, arts, food, marketing events and businesses for local residents and visitors.

As one of four RCAC designated BRE communities, Enterprise benefits from RCAC’s 35 years of experience in community development and a wealth of resources including a time-tested leadership program and RCAC’s Loan Fund. RCAC provides targeted support to community leaders and entrepreneurs to develop local business opportunities; make public policy changes; access financial resources; and use best practices and market information.