2020 Award for Excellence Nominee

Veneta - VenetaWorks Bricks-and-Clicks

2020-10-12 21_33_50-Veneta, Award for Excellence 2020 web.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.pngThe City of Veneta chartered "VenetaWorks" in 2018 as a program to build a vibrant rural entrepreneurial ecosystem. Recognizing that a primary barrier for rural entrepreneurs is market access, VenetaWorks launched a two-forked program to lower the barriers to both online and physical storefronts, affectionately called "Bricks-and-Clicks." VenetaWorks built these complementary initiatives through local and regional partnerships.

Bricks: Our Downtown Retail Pop Up District is a six-week program where seven local entrepreneurs experiment with brick-and-mortar retail by running their businesses out of colorful popup sheds on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The District improves our community by creating a much-needed "sense of place" to anchor our downtown, offering residents unique local shopping, live music, food trucks, and a small beer garden. The District embodies collaboration as it is built as a partnership between the City, Oregon RAIN, the Veneta-Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce, and grant funding from RDI. Its co-located with the Veneta Downtown Farmers Market, on space donated by St. Vincent de Paul, and co-managed by staff from the Chamber.

Clicks: The freshly-launched shopfernridge.com is an online marketplace for local makers. Inspired by a similar project in Harney County, we've worked with RDI, the Foundry Collective, and Oregon RAIN to enhance business support services the City provides its entrepreneurs by catalyzing a community of new businesses working and learning together. Our partners also are benefiting from increased efficiencies by being able to provide technical assistance through virtual workshops to larger groups of local businesses than they could before COVID-19.

Learn more about the VenetaWorks Bricks-and-Clicks Program