top of page

2023: Year In Review & Future Plans! Creating a better marketplace!

We are so excited to share the impacts we are having for a better marketplace and our goals to help surviving businesses for the coming year!

The Talent Business Alliance (TBA) is currently focused on the immediate needs of Talent’s surviving businesses as they move forward in recovery. TBA’s priorities are to continue developing programs that grow Talent’s customer base with more events and marketing, support in finding grants or other resources, and creating a thriving business network.

Last year’s update was published in October just after an incredible summer of events in 2022 – An all volunteer board had just revived TBA and immediately raised funds for business-support programming.

TBA accomplished so much in those first few months of 2022. Funded by the Ford Family Foundation, TBA started providing small grants to businesses who produced events with a wide impact to the whole community – starting with grants for the Wagner Plaza Local Vendor Market and the El Mercadito Vendor Market. These markets attract shoppers and engage emerging businesses in Talent who may want to grow into a permanent space. Commercial developers build where there are commercial space renters. Engaging small-scale manufacturers, makers, artisans, designers, etc. is helping our whole business community!

Alissa from Bear Creek Malt Supply with her grant award

Throughout 2022, TBA provided grants to Bear Creek Malt Supply, SONA CBD, The Grotto Pizzeria, Art Bop Beer Co, The Vintage, ScenicG, Cerberus Coffee, Coalicion Fortaleza, Adelante Community Partners, and Talent Maker City.

To attract consumers, TBA produced events like Music on the Commons and the hugely popular Music on the Porch Day, organized by volunteer Ana Byers. TBA followed that great event with the Talent Harvest Festival’s new vendor layout and also provided a grant for the Dia de los Muertos Race and festivities. TBA partnered with Talent Maker City to support Lights on Bikes and with Talent Artisans and Growers for their Holiday Market.

Funding for events and small business grants came from the Ford Family Foundation, All Care Health, Pacific Power, and Travel Southern Oregon – TBA thanks our funders for their generous support.

Programs were powered by staffing provided by WorkSource Rogue Valley, but by far the largest contribution was in the over 1200 hours of volunteer time!

2023 started with another big business listening session, attended by over 25 local business owners and managers and nonprofit leaders, and we performed another Talent businesses needs assessment to update the strategic planning process.

Based on feedback and our ongoing grant programs, these are the events TBA has participated in for 2023!

  • The February Talent Strategic Planning-Business Mixer with strategic planning support led by Megan Fehrman from A Greater Applegate.

  • TBA hosted a 2-part “Google Business Listings Training Series” with Thomas Moser from Travel Southern Oregon.

  • TBA co-produced a fundraiser called “Pints for Pizza” led by the Pump House, supported by the Vintage and Art Bop Beer Co. to support the Grotto Pizzeria employees after their restaurant was flooded and closed for repair. Special thanks to Cheryl Lashley and local businesses who provided for an equally successful Pints for Pizza raffle.

  • May Business Mixer at Talent Maker City. In TMC fashion, local business owners came together and networked around a fun evening of screen printing, laser engraving, vinyl cutting, and more.

The Spring Craft Crawl was a huge success!

  • Just before Mother’s Day, TBA celebrated the spring with the first ever Talent Craft Crawl – a TBA production expertly organized by the incomparable Ana Byers and TBA board member Awna Zegzdryn. Some businesses reported that it was their busiest day of the year. The next Talent Craft Crawl is scheduled for Saturday December 16th.

  • In June, TBA started spreading the word about the Talent Urban Renewal Agency’s revitalization grants for businesses located within the existing district – these grants were available to brick and mortar businesses to improve the appearance of their business, enhance access, or improve the marketability of their business.

  • Also in June, the Music on the Commons Series kicked off with Portland-based band Ashleigh Flynn and the Riveters! This family-friendly summer music series was free to all and brought visitors downtown for to-go picnics or local libations after the shows.

Ashleigh Flynn and the Riveters in June 2023
  • Music on the Commons continued in July and August with the Rosa Lees, the Ateliers and the Allen Giardinelli Ensemble.

  • The very well attended July Business Mixer was hosted by Art Bop Beer Co and the August Business Mixer was at Gather Cafe Bistro and Bar. Thank you to our hosts!

  • TBA canceled two other August events due to hazardous smoke, including the greatly anticipated Music on the Porch Day. We’ll see you for Music on the Porch Day in 2024!

  • TBA closed the summer events with what will become an annual celebration in Talent - the Dia de la Independencia Celebration! This year's celebration included Music on the Commons with world-renowned rising star, La Doña and the El Mercadito and a resource market, produced by our partners at Coalicion Fortaleza, Rogue World Music and the Rogue Action Center. Sponsors included Travel Southern Oregon and Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites.

  • The September Business Mixer was at the Legend Cider Company. TBA welcomed businesses from the surrounding areas, including the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. TBA is excited to be reviving the relations that existed between our business communities!

  • In October, TBA produced a 3-part education series on Social Media Marketing Strategies for businesses within the fire impacted areas of Talent and Phoenix. This free opportunity for businesses was facilitated by Lanessa Pierce from “What to do in Southern Oregon”.

In addition to the ongoing funding we have received for programs that support surviving businesses and improve the marketplace, there are more events scheduled for the remainder of 2023!

Business mixers, forums, and more community events are ahead! Please visit our event calendar at and follow us on Facebook for the most updated schedule of events!

We have come a long way in a short time but Talent’s recovery is still ongoing! Thank you for joining us as we work to support Talent’s businesses together!



bottom of page