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small business

Become a Local Business “Angel”

Want to support your neighborhood business? Be a small-town “angel” investor! Typical angel investors look for businesses that can grow quickly and then be sold. Small-town "angels" deal with smaller amounts of money and are interested in the long-term success of a business that will sustain a community, not abandon it."How to Be a Smart Local Investor" is a free, 3-hour seminar for people who want to support the entrepreneurs who are the foundation of our economy. The seminar provides a friendly and safe opportunity for participants to develop a personal framework for making investing decisions, and learn how to conduct due diligence and risk assessment. Participants will learn about different investment structures and have time to network.

An article in Forbes magazine notes that "there are between 25 million and 27 million small businesses in the U.S. that account for 60 to 80 percent of all U.S. jobs. And, a recent study by Paychex says that small businesses produce 13 times more patents than larger firms." These small businesses may not be glamorous, but they are the economic engine of our nation. And multi-million-dollar investors are not the only "angel" investors—investments of just hundreds of dollars can make a difference to a local business owner.

How can you help to keep this economic engine running smoothly? Find out at one of our upcoming seminars, taking place at 6 p.m.:

• Baker City: Wednesday, Jan. 18 at HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St. POSTPONED
• La Grande: Thursday, Jan. 19 at Umpqua Bank, 1215 Adams Ave. POSTPONED
• Joseph: Monday, Jan. 23 at the Place, 303 S Lake St.

To register, call NEOEDD at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email kristyathens@neoedd.org.

“Hiring Your First Employee” Workshop Free to Public

NEOEDD and WorkSource Oregon offer a free workshop to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners understand the legal considerations of hiring employees—what’s required and recommended, and best practices. Register by Mar. 31 to reserve your seat in Baker City, La Grande, or Enterprise.

Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, the workshop is offered free of charge!

Workshop takes place:
• Enterprise:  Tuesday, Apr. 4; 6 to 9 p.m. at Fishtrap, 400 E Grant St.
• Baker City:  Wednesday, Apr. 5; 6 to 9 p.m. at Hatch Baker, 2019 Main St.
• Baker City:  Thursday, Apr. 6; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Hatch Baker, 2019 Main St.
• La Grande: Thursday, Apr. 6; 6 to 9 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 1215 Adams Ave.

To register, call NEOEDD by Friday, Mar. 31 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 will be required.

The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about our programs and business support at www.neoedd.org.

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Business Foundations Workshops Free to Public

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) offers a free, six-week workshop series to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners build the basis for a successful enterprise. Register by Feb. 13 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 more than 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. Dawson is also adding a class to guide entrepreneurs in hiring employees.

Best of all, thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, the classes are offered free of charge!

Workshops take place:
• Enterprise:  Tuesdays, Feb. 14-28, Mar. 7-21 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Fishtrap, 400 E Grant St.
• Baker City:  Wednesdays, Feb. 15-22, Mar. 1-22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St.
• La Grande: Thursdays, Feb. 16-23, Mar. 2-23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 1215 Adams Ave.
NOTE: There is one additional, optional class, called “Hiring Your First Employee,” on Apr. 4, 5, or 6, respectively

To register, call NEOEDD by Monday, Feb. 13 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 will be required.

The workshops last seven 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 product, or marketing materials.
• Payroll Basics (optional): Legal considerations of hiring employees—what’s required and recommended, and best practices.
• 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
• “I felt included as an important part of training from Day 1. Lisa was able to get us to engage in her workshop activities, even though we were all shy at first.” –Participant in La Grande
• “It was a fun and safe environment that helped me learn a ton!” –Participant in Enterprise
• “Lisa made the lessons and process enjoyable and in sections small enough not to be overwhelming.” –Participant in Enterprise
• “Lisa is a great facilitator—very knowledgeable, patient, gets the class thinking/talking/
participating/engaged.” –Participant in Baker City
• “Not once did I go home confused about something.” –Participant in Enterprise