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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 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