The contingent of eight cities that joined forces in 2017 to support regional economic growth has renamed itself Rural Economic Alliance, or REAL, while launching a new website, the organization recently announced.

The collaborative effort, which includes Philomath and has added a ninth city, was awarded a grant five years ago through Business Oregon’s Rural Opportunities Initiative and contracted with Oregon RAIN to bring a venture catalyst to the region to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The group had been known as Mid Valley Partners prior to the recent rebranding.

According to the organization, Rural Economic Alliance settled on its new name, in part, because of the acronym, REAL, a nod to the personalized approach to working with entrepreneurs and businesses.

The REAL website is described as a resource for entrepreneurs, current business owners and prospective investors.

“During our branding work we identified some incredible strategic advantages to doing business in our region,” said Scott McDowell, Brownsville city administrator. “We found doing business in Linn and Benton counties to be easier and more welcoming than working in larger cities.”

The Pacific Northwest-based agency, JayRay Ads & PR, was contracted to lead the rebranding effort.

For those interested in partnering with REAL or seeking help with a business in Linn or Benton counties, email or visit

In addition to Philomath, the other eight cities that participate include Adair Village, Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Monroe, Sweet Home and Tangent.