From winter storms and wildfires to a Cascadia subduction earthquake and tsunami, Oregon faces a range of chronic and catastrophic hazards. While a range of emergency management protocols are available to prevent loss of life and property, Oregon must also prepare itself to mitigate economic impacts. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, over 40% of businesses that close their doors due to a crisis never reopen. Of those businesses that do reopen, only 29% are able to survive the following two years. This can cause a ripple effect of unemployment and economic instability. In the wake of disaster, how can Oregon ensure that its vibrant and unique businesses survive? The Oregon Districts have sought to answer this question, while identifying ways that economic resilience planning can support innovation, job creation, and business retention today.
In the spring of 2017, the Oregon Economic Development Districts partnered with the University of Oregon Economic Development Center to design and implement a business impact assessment associated with the August 12, 2017 total solar eclipse. Reflecting on the eclipse – with a focus on how systems responded to this surge in use – offered a chance to assess Oregon’s ability to anticipate, absorb, adapt, and recover from future large-scale events such as natural catastrophes or human-originated events.
The overarching project goal was to develop tools that can support Oregonian communities to withstand economic shocks by generating near term economic
opportunities that reduce long term economic impacts.
Project Reports & Documents:
- Strategies to Build Economic Resilience and Preparedness Across Oregon: Volume I – this report presents the findings from the eclipse business impact assessment.
- Strategies to Build Economic Resilience and Preparedness Across Oregon: Volume II – this report demonstrates the areas of need for an economic resilience training/module toolkit, based on the assessment from Volume I. This report’s findings were used to develop the following toolkit.
- Oregon Economic Resilience Training Toolkit – this training resource provides economic development professionals with a basic set of tools to initiate economic resilience activities and programs at the regional and local level. These include document templates, model language, and best practice approaches.
- Business Resilience Worksheets – these worksheets were created for focus groups to identify resources and prioritize disaster related business financing, business engagement, and workforce planning tasks.
- Restoreyoureconomy.org – a disaster recovery website developed with grant funding from the EDA. A valuable resource for the development of this project.
- Resilient Organisations NZ – a research and consulting group that has developed, stress-tested, and refined 13 indicators of organizational resilience. Their research emphasizes the critical relationship between an organization’s resilience and its culture.