Individual Development Account program helps open doors

By Observer Upload October 24, 2012 01:40 pm

Community Bank awarded $5,000 to the Individual Development Account that helps moderate income individuals save money for investment in a business or post-secondary education.

The Northeast Oregon Economic District has been offering the development account in Union, Baker and Wallowa counties since the fall of 2007. Since then, the program has graduated 37 participants who saved more than $80,000 and received more than $240,000 in matching funds for business or education.


Another 44 participants are currently enrolled in the program and will save more than $94,000 and leverage another $282,000 to invest in their future.

Rose Caslar, owner of Caslar Equestrian, used the program to replace her old farm truck, which she described as “looking like part of a Beverly Hillbillies set.” 

As a trainer and certified instructor of Centered Riding and Classical Dressage, Caslar needed a safer and more reliable vehicle for hauling horses.

 “The IDA program has provided an incredible opportunity for me to grow my business. I feel more professional arriving in a newer vehicle and my clients can feel confident when handing over their prized animals,” said Caslar.

The account participants set up a special savings account at a local bank and for every $1 they save, the program provides $3 in matching funds to invest in starting or growing a business, or to pay for education or training. Participants can save up to $3,000 and receive up to $9,000 in matching funds.

“Community Bank is proud to support programs which provide financial and educational assistance to aspiring business owners and students,” said Keith Burghardt, the bank’s chief administrative officer.

 More than $170,000 of matching funds is currently available, and new applications are welcome. The district provides participants with free business classes covering marketing, legal structures, pricing, costs of doing business and utilizing credit responsibly.

Participants also complete a financial literacy course and a business or post-secondary education plan. The district provides one-on-onesupport to participants as they complete the program and use their funds to acquire business assets and pay for operating costs, or to cover educational expenses.

For more information call 541-426-3598 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it