bizWallowaResale for 072220

Wallowa Resale Store, which reopened July 23, has been under the Lostine Presbyterian Church and its 501(3) since January 2019

WALLOWA — The Wallowa Resale Department and Community Store is prepared to reopen Thursday, July 23, according to a news release from Marilyn Hulse.

Hulse is the chairwoman of the store’s board of directors, as required since it is organized as a 501(c)(3).

Located at the corner of state Highway 82 and Pine Street, the plan is to have the store open three days a week — Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shop is a project of the Wallowa Methodist Church, which usually puts on one or two rummage sales a year in the basement of its large church building on Main Street in Wallowa. Its mission is to support local organizations and individuals who have funding needs. It has operated 10 years in Wallowa and has provided many grants to the Food Bank, Wallowa Senior Meals, the Wallowa County Humane Society and others groups and individuals.

The store had closed in mid-March when Gov. Kate Brown ordered businesses to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hulse said the store has enough volunteers to open three days a week, but could use more if anyone would like to apply. As the store is at capacity for donations, it cannot accept any until Sept 1.

The store is currently being cleaned and reorganized to accommodate a large collection of clothing and household goods. Masks are required by law for customers and staff until further notice. A supply of masks is available at the store.

For more information, contact the store’s manager, Deb Reth, at 541-398-0137.

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Grants will now be available for businesses and nonprofit groups that were unable to access earlier programs if they can demonstrate substantial COVID-19-related income loss, according to a press release.

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, with funding from Business Oregon, is offering the grants for small businesses and nonprofits that were unable to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan or Paycheck Protection Program loans. Businesses that were closed via state mandate automatically qualify; others may qualify by demonstrating substantial COVID-related loss.

Go to the NEOEDD’s website to access the form in English and other languages and to read the qualifications. There is also a form for nominating a business. The website is www.neoedd.org/covid-19-resources/.

“This funding from Business Oregon will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Lisa Dawson, NEOEDD executive director. “It is not a competitive process. If you qualify, you will receive funding until we have exhausted our allotment.”

NEOEDD will distribute funds on a rolling basis until approximately Aug. 23.

This program was funded in part with state General Funds and Lottery Funds administered by the Oregon Business Development Department.

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Oregon Housing and Community Services has awarded Community Connection of Northeast Oregon’s Housing Resource Center a $300,000 grant to provide down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers.

Applicants can receive up to $15,000 in down payment and closing costs toward the purchase of their home. Eligible applicants must have gross annual income less than the area median Income, be first-time homebuyers, have net worth limitations and be lender-ready within one year. See www.ccno.org for details.

Area median incomes for four Northeast Oregon counties are $58,100 in Baker, $60,800 in Grant, $58,900 in Union and $64,400 in Wallowa.

Community Connection provides prepurchase counseling to people interested in purchasing a home. Their HUD Certified Housing Counselor helps position folks for lender approval by addressing budget, credit, debt and educates prospective homeowners of available loan products, as well as ensures that they can sustain housing costs on a comfortable financial basis. Community Connection also offers individual development accounts for first-time homebuyers, allowing prospective buyers to save up to $12,000 toward a down payment.

Community Connection’s certified foreclosure intervention and default counselor counsels homeowners at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure by reviewing options and strategies to retain ownership of their homes. This includes available programs for loan reinstatement and loan modification.

Also included is financial capability counseling which involves budgeting and creating a sustainable projected budget. In 2019, Community Connection’s efforts in foreclosure avoidance counseling has saved homeowners a total of $791,216 and saved 36 homes from foreclosure in their region.

For more information, contact Diana Wright in La Grande at 541-963-3186 or at diana@ccno.org.

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Bill Bradshaw is a reporter for the Wallowa County Chieftain. Have a business tip? Contact him at 541-398-5503 or bbradshaw@wallowa.com.

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