Medford company only one to boost jobs with BOOST

Nearly two months after it was launched, a lending program created by Oregon lawmakers to help companies add workers has resulted in just two new jobs, both in Medford.

The BOOST program was launched June 1 with authority to lend up to $4 million to businesses that can create new permanent full-time jobs in Oregon.

The program also can issue $1 million in total grants, with up to $2,500 for each newly created job, to qualifying businesses.

But since it began, only four companies have applied for grants and none have been approved.

Two businesses have applied for loans. One of them, Medford's Pallet Wine Co., says its $85,000 loan has led to two jobs.

Dan Sullivan, managing partner with Pallet, said applying for the $85,000 loan through BOOST was not a difficult process — especially in comparison to the challenge of securing a business loan through a commercial bank during the economic downturn's ongoing credit crunch.

"The state of Oregon was really, really easy to work with and very supportive," Sullivan said. His company provides "custom crush" grape processing service to clients who want their grapes turned into small batches of bottled wine.

— The Associated Press

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