September 30, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Warm Springs Community Action Team Secures Federal Grant for Small Business Development

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Warm Springs Community Action Team has earned a $354,558 federal grant for its small business acceleration project.

“Tribal communities in Oregon are working hard to generate jobs in the face of challenges that include longstanding injustices and the one-two punch in 2020 of wildfires combined with the economic fallout from COVID-19,” Wyden said. “Today’s announcement will help this non-profit develop job-creating small businesses, and I’ll keep working to provide additional resources that would help the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs and others with another challenge -- reliable water infrastructure that’s key to public health as well as a strong economy.”

“The health and economies of tribal nations were already among the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, even before unprecedented wildfires swept our state and blanketed our communities in hazardous smoke,” said Merkley. “This funding will help the Warm Springs Community Action Team create new jobs rebuilding the local economy and supporting workers’ families during, and after, this difficult time. But much more needs to be done to support the Warm Springs community after years of injustice perpetrated against the tribe, and I’ll be doing everything I can to lead the charge to secure the resources needed to continue those efforts.”

The $354,558 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to help the Warm Springs Community Action Team – an independent 501(c)(3) community development organization -- with infrastructure and training of entrepreneurs with the goal of increasing retail businesses within the Tribal community.

"We are thrilled to be receiving this grant that supports a project building upon our team’s already-strong community asset building and small business promotion efforts,” said Chris Watson, Executive Director of the Warm Springs Community Action Team. “And we thank Senators Wyden and Merkley for supporting this project creating a dozen new retail businesses on the reservation, employing 25-30 community members, and beginning the process of opening up the Warm Springs community for business.”