Chris Sarles, president and CEO of the Oregon Fruit Products LLC, shows labels for products sold by the company decades ago. Sarles says that the company has a long story that he hopes to carry on. (Jake Thomas/Salem Reporter)

There’s a lot going on business. To help keep you up to speed, the Salem Reporter has launched a semi-regular roundup of business-related items that includes new business openings, locations, grant opportunities and others. 

To suggest an item, reach out to reporter Jake Thomas at [email protected]

CAN FULL OF MEMORIES. Fans of Oregon Fruit, a fruit-canning company with deep roots in Salem, is inviting customers to submit their favorite memories, stories, traditions or recipes using the company’s canned cherries, blueberries or other products.

Those who submit the best story will receive a year’s supply of canned fruit and a KitchenAid mixer. They’ll also get to select a hunger-relief organization to receive a $1,000 donation from Oregon Fruit.

To enter, use the company’s online submission form. Entries can also be made using the Oregon Fruit voicemail line at 1-888-85YEARS (859-3277). Contest rules can be found here.


IMPORTS AND EXPORTS. International trade supported one out of every five jobs in Oregon prior to the pandemic, a new study commissioned by the Business Roundtable has found.

The study, prepared by Trade Partnership Worldwide, relied on 2018 employment and trade data to examine the impacts of Oregon’s exports and imports as well as goods and services on jobs. It concluded that 513,400 jobs in Oregon were tied to trade.

In 2018 (the year the most recent data is available for), Oregon exported $21 billion in goods and $9 billion in services that included semiconductors and components, industrial machinery, computer equipment and travel services. Trade with China supported 93,500 Oregon jobs and trade with Canada and Mexico supported 159,200 jobs.

The full national study can be found here and a summary for Oregon here.


BUSINESS GRANTS. Two new grant programs are available from Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency.

Small Business Innovation and Research Matching Grants are meant to help fill gaps for companies that have received federal grants but need extra cash to commercialize or scale their technology. The grant is eligible for Oregon-based businesses with more than half of their employees in the state that have received federal Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grants. Awards can range up to $100,000 and applications are open through Nov. 8. More information can be found on the program's website.

The High Impact Opportunity Project  seeks to support emerging industries that face barriers to commercialization or product development. The grants are meant to support an entire industry, not just one individual business. The application can be submitted through Nov 4. There is approximately $1.5 million available for funding in this round of the program. More information can be found on the grant’s website.


CAT TAX. Still trying to figure out Oregon’s Corporate Activity Tax? The Oregon Department of Revenue is holding a training session via Zoom to help inform businesses and tax professionals on the tax. The Corporate Activity Tax went into effect this year and applies a tax on all commercial activity above $1 million.

The sessions will cover ongoing rule updates, penalties, pandemic relief, cost inputs to farmers and other topics.

The first meeting is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19.

The Zoom meeting link is

The passcode is 920761

The second meeting is scheduled for 9 am. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The meeting link is

The passcode is 013983

 Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated a prize offered by Oregon Fruit.