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Business Foundations Workshops Free to Public

NEOEDD offers a free, six-week workshop series to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners build the basis for a successful enterprise. Register by Sept. 21 to reserve your seat in Baker City, La Grande, or Enterprise. But, don’t wait—class size is limited!

Lisa Dawson has taught the Business Foundations program for ten years, and her students—existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties—continue to give her rave reviews. This hands-on class covers the basics of running a successful business: overhead and inventory costs, goal-setting and sales projections, marketing, taxes and licensing, and other considerations, and brings it all together in a business plan.

Best of all, thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through City of La Grande, the classes are offered free of charge!

Workshops take place from 6 to 9 p.m.:

• Baker City:  Mondays, Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 22, 29 (no class Oct. 15); and Nov. 5 at HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St.
• La Grande: Tuesdays, Sept. 25; Oct. 2, 9, 23, 30 (no class Oct. 16); and Nov. 6 at IGNITE, 104 Depot St.
• Enterprise: Thursdays, Sept. 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25; and Nov. 1 at Wallowa Resources, 401 NE 1st St.

To register, call NEOEDD by Friday, Sept. 21 at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email kristyathens@neoedd.org. Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification is required.

The workshops last six weeks, with the following topics:
• Gaining Perspective: View business concept from a high altitude in order to define vision and get a good look at the main topics to be addressed.
• Laying the Foundation: Define line of business and analyze financial essentials, from overhead costs to break-even points.
• Getting into the Flow: Cover the financial bases of cash flow, sales forecasting, and financial documents.
• Mission & Markets: Revisit mission, discuss market research, and identify competitors in order to align with target markets.
• Get the Word Out: Discuss creative marketing strategies and give peer feedback on marketing materials.
• Goodbye & Good Luck: Present business plans, share final pitches, and plan for next steps.

Here’s what former class participants have to say about the Foundations class:
• “[I appreciated Lisa’s] low-key and helpful attitude, and her desire to help each of us regardless of our business choices.” –Participant in Halfway
• “I hadn’t looked at break-even point, overhead costs, and marketing costs before this class.” –Participant in Enterprise
• “[I valued] being able to get a grasp on my business intentions and the necessary work involved to be successful.” –Participant in Baker City

Care about the region's economic future? Tell us about it!

The most powerful and successful communities are those whose citizens are engaged in what’s going on around them. Let’s keep building Northeast Oregon’s strength by getting involved in regional economic planning.

NEOEDD compiles a new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy—affectionately known as the “CEDS”—every five years (with annual updates). 2018 is a CEDS revision year, so NEOEDD has been working hard to engage civic leaders in visioning exercises. Now, it’s your turn! Please join us for a public meeting in your county, and share your opinions via our anonymous survey.

Led by NEOEDD, local leaders in business health care, education, natural resources, and government have explored their hopes for and concerns about Northeast Oregon’s economy. A key finding discovered at a discussion in late January was the need for more collaboration across county lines in order to diversify the economy and provide better paying jobs for the region. The importance of involving people of different backgrounds, cultures and ages in planning for the region’s future was also highlighted.

To gather more perspectives on how best to improve quality of life in NE Oregon, NEOEDD is hosting a public forum in Wallowa/Union/Baker County and an anonymous online survey. People who enjoy gathering to share food and ideas are invited to attend the forums. Fun and facilitated activities will inform participants about the region’s current economy, and gather input on strategies to provide for jobs, education, housing, and other essentials needed to support a healthy economy. Free! Refreshments will be provided. RSVPs are not required but are appreciated (541-426-3598), so we don’t run out of food!

Forum schedule:
Baker County
Wed., Feb. 28
Baker County Events Center
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Wallowa County
Wed., Mar. 7
Community Connections
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Union County
Wed., Mar. 14
Blue Mountain Conference Center
5:30-8:30 p.m.

People are also invited to complete the Northeast Oregon Strategy Survey, here. Please respond by Mar. 21.

Those of us in government and economic development do not—and don’t want to—work in a vacuum. We need your input! We look forward to hearing from you.

-LGBTQ 101- Topic of Next DEI Roundtable

Rural Oregon's nonprofit organizations are exploring how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can build understanding, strengthen mission impact, and ensure public benefit. To this end, NEOEDD is organizing a series of roundtable discussions for regional nonprofit board members and staff to learn, share, and discuss DEI methods and strategies. The next roundtable will be held Feb. 7, 2018; others are planned for May 2, Aug. 1, and Nov. 7, 2018, and Feb. 6, 2019.

The Feb. 7 session will be held at the Island City Hall, 10605 Island Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including lunch. The title is “LGBTQ 101,” and will be led by Meg Bowen (pictured, with dog Sparky), quality director at Winding Waters Clinic in Enterprise, and Stef Duncan and Kyrie Weaver of Safe Harbors in Enterprise. Bowen has worked in health care and primary care for more than 30 years and is a Pacific Northwest native. Duncan has worked as a domestic violence and sexual assault victims’ advocate for the past eight years, the last three of which as an LGBTQ-specific advocate in Wallowa County.

Sessions in October and December of last year focused on assessing an organization's progress in addressing DEI generally, within programs and at the governance level. The February roundtable focuses on a specific element of DEI: how denying human rights to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer members of our community not only threatens those individuals in obvious ways, but is also detrimental to everyone in the community.

"A community that is not safe for all of its members isn’t safe for any of its members," notes Bowen. "This roundtable will offer history and also present-day implications of fear and bigotry."

The cost to attend is $25 per person per roundtable discussion. Scholarships are available; please inquire at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598. Registration here.

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.