Analysis cites 'very effective' impact of SOREDI

An analysis of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. confirmed the organization continues to bolster the local economy through its recruitment efforts.

Economic analysis consulting firm REMI-Northwest evaluated SOREDI's role in local e-commerce and business recruitment activities and credited the 22-year-old organization with expanding the area's employment and tax base.

The results were highlighted during SOREDI's annual meeting last week.

REMI-Northwest found the Medford E-Commerce Zone administered by SOREDI has helped create 700 new jobs and is projected to surpass 900 positions by 2020. The e-commerce zone has generated $42 million in gross regional product and is expected to grow to $92 million by 2020. The gross regional product is the local equivalent of the gross national product (GNP), which measures the total value of goods and services created.

"The e-commerce zone has been a very effective tool in offsetting declines in the timber and forest product industries," REMI-Northwest reported. "Benefit/cost ratios of SOREDI business expansion activities, particularly with regard to the e-commerce zone, have been very high. Public tax revenues have been several times (more than what has) been invested."

SOREDI-related business investments will generate $14 million in property taxes, with the city of Medford picking up $1.6 million and Jackson County another $2.5 million.

"Without SOREDI, business investment would suffer from a lack of knowledge about Southern Oregon, a lack of capital or missed incentives for start up business and reduced access to public officials," REMI-Northwest stated in its findings.

For every 100 new jobs created in the computer-related sector, the gross regional product grows by $63 million and state and local tax revenues grow by $7 million.

In the machinery manufacturing sector, 100 new jobs bring in $13 million in gross regional product and $2.2 million in tax revenue. When 100 new jobs are created in either the data processing/Internet field or in food manufacturing, the gross regional product is more than $11 million.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail

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