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Think Out Loud

Sustaining Business in Rural Oregon

Pete Springer/OPB

Here’s what Mayor of Cave Junction Don Moore says about the past couple years:

When the US goes into recession, it gets a cold. Oregon gets pneumonia. And Josephine County dies of complications.

Josephine County is of couse not dead. But like many rural areas, it has felt economic pain particularly sharply.

It started when lumber from federal timber lands became difficult — sometimes impossible — for mills to obtain locally. Logging had been the backbone of the area for decades. Now there is just one mill left in Josephine County.

Retirees, especially from California, brought in new money as the area turned into a hotspot for seniors. But that rush slowed with stock market volitility and the sale prices of homes in many parts of the West plummeting.

What is the key to keeping rural communities in southwest Oregon strong and vibrant? Think Out Loud is going to Cave Junction to get the view from one small town. You can be a part of the live audience Wednesday night! Details are below.

We’ll talk to a range of business owners on this program: from those that have been around for decades to those that are just starting up, from small manufacturers who sell worldwide to service oriented outfits catering to local needs.

If you are from Josephine or a neighboring county, what are the particular strengths of small communities in your area? If you live in a rural area somewhere else in Oregon, what challenges have your community faced in providing jobs? What tips can you share?

We’ll be at Wild River Brewing and Pizza in Cave Junction. The show starts at 7pm. Join us at 6pm for complimentary food and drinks.

Note: This show is part of our Rural Economy Project.


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