Supporting Multiple Segments of Harney County
Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative exists to help rural Harney County businesses succeed and to help build a thriving business environment. As a Business Oregon Rural Opportunity Initiative Community, the partners are supporting many segments of the Harney County small business community:
- economic development with the Burns Paiute Tribe;
- providing training and assistance to frontier rural small business owners;
- providing education and mentorship through *CO.STARTERS to local entrepreneurs;
- building the Idea to Ownership pipeline and connecting students with small businesses for internship opportunities through the Harney Internship Program.
*CO.STARTERS is a cohort learning program where "entrepreneurs learn together and from each other." In 2022 20 entrepreneurs in Harney County went through the program.
Supporting the High Desert Biomass Cooperative as it Grows
The Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative is also supporting the High Desert Biomass Cooperative with technical assistance and the development of the High Desert Biomass Stewardship Agreement. This agreement with the Forest Service contributes to the growth of High Desert Biomass Cooperative and its ability to service Harney County. In addition, this agreement has ecological, economic and social benefits including:
- helping reduce fire fuel in the forest;
- supplying small diameter lumber to the High Desert Biomass Cooperative enabling it to heat multiple buildings in Harney County and;
- feeding the natural resource stewardship economy with the creation of jobs to harvest this lumber.
Shop Harney and the Gift Card that Could
Fall 2020 with the pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on the Harney County rural economy, the need to support and lift up Harney County businesses drove a search for and implementation of a community directed gift card program—Shop Harney. Each card purchased keeps local dollars in the local community, while also highlighting and supporting some of the businesses Harney County has to offer. This is one successful example of Biz Harney partners working together and spreading a spirit of entrepreneurism and culture of innovation.
- In 2020, during the first months the Shop Harney program was up and running, more than 75 local businesses accepted the Shop Harney card and $43,000 of cards were purchased.
- As of fall 2022:
- 1572 ShopHarney cards have been purchased.
- The cards purchased are worth $150,125 of which $125,602 has been spent with frontier rural Harney County small businesses.
- And, there are 77 Harney County businesses accepting ShopHarney.