Funding available for more layoff aversion grants

LA GRANDE — The Eastern Oregon Workforce Board announced it received funding to open a third round of COVID-19 layoff aversion grants.

But the organization changed procedures for processing the applications, according to the press release from the board. The major differences are:

•There now is a $3,500 limit on requests.

•Payroll and payroll-related expenses are not eligible.

•The application is online at www.eowb.org

The third round of applications became available this week and will close Tuesday unless funds are depleted before then.

Email info@eowb.org or call 541-963-3693 id you have questions.

“Be aware that it may take a couple of days to return calls due to the popularity of these grants,” the press release stated.

Union County Chamber provides takeout list

LA GRANDE — The Union County Chamber of Commerce released a list of the restaurants and retail stores identifying the businesses hours of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list also includes whether the restaurants offer takeout or delivery. You can find the list here: https://visitunioncounty.org/2020/03/27/union-county-covid19-updates-resources/.

La Grande seeks applications for urban renewal grants

LA GRANDE — The city of La Grande’s Urban Renewal Agency announced it is accepting applications for its competitive grant program, the Call for Projects.

Each fiscal year, the La Grande Urban Renewal Agency has a limited amount of funding to allocate toward public/private development projects within the Urban Renewal Distict.

Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the URA will be extending the grant application deadline to May 1 at 5 p.m.

The city will not accept applications past the deadline.

Application forms and information packets are be available online at: http://www.cityoflagrande.org/muraProjects/muraLAG/lagcity/index.cfm/city-offices/community-development/.

You may also request a packet via email by contacting Kendra VanCleave at KVanCleave@cityoflagrande.org.

This will be a competitive round of funding, according to the city’s press release, with no guarantee all qualified applicants will receive funding.

If you have questions, contact Christine Jarski, economic development director, at 541-962-1307 or cjarski@cityoflagrande.org.

USDA extends deadline for proposals for natural resource projects

PORTLAND — The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it will extend deadlines for project proposal submissions to May 29 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program Alternative Funding Arrangements.

Originally deadlines were mid-May, but the service in a press release stated it wanted to provide additional time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NRCS will invest up to $50 million in fiscal year 2020 to fund AFAs, a partner-led approach to address natural resource concerns at local, regional and landscape scales. The Conservation Service can fund up to 15 projects in which partners will receive greater liberty to manage a Regional Conservation Partnership Program project and the associated relationships with participating producers and landowners. Funding for projects will range from $250,000 to $10 million.

The Alternative Funding Arrangements allow partners to work directly with farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners to carry out conservation projects. The 2018 Farm Bill highlighted some project types that are particularly suited to alternative funding:

•Projects that use innovative approaches to leverage the federal investment in conservation.

•Projects that deploy a pay-for-performance conservation approach.

•Projects that seek large-scale infrastructure investments that generate benefits for agricultural producers and nonindustrial private forest owners.

Additionally, NRCS will invest up to $25 million in On-Farm Trials in 2020, which are a component of the Conservation Innovation Grants.

For more information about the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and On-Farm Trials, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.

ADAMA creates competition to help nonprofitsRaleigh, NC — ADAMA US, a leading global crop protection company, announced the launch of its Thank a Retailer campaign for agri-retailers and farmers.

ADAMA invites crop growers in the area to go online at thankaretailer.adama.com and vote for their favorite agri-retailer. The business that receives the most votes will win a $10,000 charity donation to the local nonprofit of their choice.

Voting ends April 30.

BEO Bancorp first quarter earnings tick up

HEPPNER — BEO Bancorp and its subsidiary, Bank of Eastern Oregon, announced first quarter 2020 consolidated net income of about $1.1 million or 94 cents per share compared to less than $1.1 million or 92 cents per share for first quarter 2019.

Total assets were $485.4 million, up 3.65% year over year, according to the press release from the company. Net loans of $423.6 million were up 24.5% from the same period in 2019, while deposits were at $432.7 million up 2.66% year over year.

Jeff Bailey, bank president and CEO, said the the COVID-19 pandemic overshadows the company’s positive results for the first quarter.

“The illnesses and loss of life across our nation and the world cause us all to realign our priorities and the things that we hold dear,” he said in the statement. “While none of us know when the travel restrictions and the stay home orders will end, we do know that each day brings us closer to whatever the ‘new normal’ will be.”

Chief financial officer Mark Lemmon said shareholder equity is up 6.8% over the past year and the return on average assets is .92% and on average equity is 11.72%. And while the Federal Reserve has dropped interest rates over the course of the quarter to try and offset the negative effects the pandemic is having on the economy, he said, the bottom line is “the jobless numbers will dictate how long the economic slowdown lasts.”

Bank of Eastern Oregon operates in 12 Eastern Oregon counties and has a bank branch in La Grande.

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