Business Notes for Nov. 18

Clear Creek distillery moving to HR

A member of the Oregon craft spirits scene, Clear Creek Distillery will move its operations from Portland to Hood River in the first half of 2018. This move brings Clear Creek Distillery closer to the source of its signature pear brandies.

“Our pear brandy is distilled exclusively from pears grown and picked in the Hood River Valley, so we’re excited to be in the midst of this great fruit,” said Jeanine Racht, Clear Creek national sales manager. “While Portland will always be a part of us, the move to Hood River allows us to expand capacity and support our growth objectives.”

Clear Creek’s Portland tasting room will host its final day of tastings, tours and sales on Dec. 31. Portland distillery operations will wrap up in January 2018, as Clear Creek — purchased by Hood River Distillers in 2014 — transitions from Portland to Hood River. The new distillery will begin operations in the spring of 2018.

Gorge OIB launches pilot loan program

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Oregon Investment Board (OIB) has launched a new pilot loan program. The program is designed to support the financial needs of small businesses with a streamlined application process, minimal documentation and insurance requirements, small business counseling, and performance incentives.

The OIB offers financing for small businesses in the Oregon boundary of the Scenic Area in Wasco, Hood River and Multnomah counties. The program targets entrepreneurs, new business start-ups, expanding businesses, and existing businesses for debt refinancing.

Staff at Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) manage the OIB program.

“The (OIB) board was thoughtful in their deliberations of establishing this pilot program,” said Amanda Hoey, MCEDD executive director. “They analyzed business finance needs, the areas being covered by other lenders, and sought to create an accessible program for small loans.”

Businesses can contact the loan fund manager at MCEDD, Eric Nerdin, at 541-296-2266 or More information on the pilot program and the application can be found at

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