Newsletters

 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Capital
Email Format

View Archives

wallowa county

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.

Food Hub Feasibility Surveys Now Open for Comment

Thanks to a multi-year grant from Meyer Memorial Trust, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) outreach specialist Kristy Athens is conducting a food hub feasibility survey for Wallowa County.

“We have so much food production here in the county, and most of it is exported instead of consumed,” says Kristy. “I want to explore options that could increase access to locally grown food crops, and also add value to crops, which could boost the local economy.”

A "food hub" is a business or organization that can provide any number of services to local farmers and ranchers, including cooler or freezer storage, washing/cutting/packaging, and distribution to wholesale purchasers. Aggregation can support smaller producers, who alone cannot provide the volume of food needed by most wholesale customers, such as grocery stores, schools, and restaurants. Keeping more of the food that is grown in Wallowa County in the county increases access to fresh, nutritious produce and meat, and makes our economy more resilient--meaning we're less reliant on outside supplies. You can learn more about food hubs at http://www.wallacecenter.org/foodhubcollaboration/.

Athens seeks input from two specific groups. The first group is producers—the farmers and ranchers who grow food in the county—survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WCproducers
The second group is wholesale purchasers—the restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, manufacturers that purchase, process and/or sell agricultural products—survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WCwholesalers

If it's appropriate, readers may take more than one survey, but they may take each only once. Please complete the survey by June 30, 2017. Share widely with your producer and buyer friends! If you have questions, contact Athens at kristyathens@neoedd.org or 541-426-3598.

NEOEDD Offers Free Website Workshop

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) is teaming up with MPzero Studios to provide a "Build Your Own Website" workshop this spring—free of charge! Pre-registration is required.

Build Your Own Website
Business owners will determine what they really need in a website, and then review the strengths and limitations of free website tools including Wix, Weebly, and WordPress. This two-day workshop will be held May 18 and 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tomas Room in the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce office, 309 S River St., in Enterprise.

The workshops will be led by MPzero Studios, La Grande: Gabe Blodgett, co-owner and director of marketing and engineering, will be the lead instructor and Phil Stoaks, co-owner and director of design and customer service, will be the assistant trainer. MPzero provides a variety of web-design, branding and marketing services.

“These workshops are a great opportunity for business-owners to explore the options and tools that are available to promote their products or services,” says NEOEDD Executive Director Lisa Dawson.

There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration is required. The cost of the workshops is covered by a Community Development Block Grant provided to Baker County, which requires confidential income verification of workshop participants. Contact kristyathens@neoedd.org or 541-426-3598 to request a registration form.

NEOEDD Receives Grant to Develop Community Capital in NE Oregon

NEOEDD is pleased to announce that The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) has awarded it $15,000 to support development of a “local financing ecosystem” to meet the needs of businesses and citizens in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. NEOEDD was also invited to apply for additional OCF funds in 2014. The grant comes from two OCF funds, the Miller Charitable Fund and the Ward Family Fund.

“These funds will help us bring investing education and tools to the region in the coming year,” says NEOEDD Executive Director Lisa Dawson. “Economic and community-development partners have laid some important groundwork, but there’s a lot more to do to connect investors and entrepreneurs.”

“Community Capital” gives local citizens the option to divert money from the global stock market (which does not benefit the region) into NE Oregon businesses. NEOEDD is part of the NE Oregon Community Capital Collaborative, a group of fouteen organizations working in conjunction with Springboard Innovation and its online platform, ChangeXchange Northwest, to launch a community capital program in NE Oregon. The Community Capital project is not an NEOEDD-sponsored investment fund, but a program of training and technical assistance to enable individuals to enter into legal investment arrangements with entrepreneurs and businesses of their choice.

“This program moves toward creating permanent, mutually beneficial relationships between community members who have capital and small-business owners who need capital to establish or grow their businesses,” says Dawson. “We want to see a region that is full of engaged citizen-investors and vibrant, creative and successful business enterprises.”

The Community Capital Collaborative is seeking additional partners, and volunteers for the following teams: Leadership, Marketing and Communications, Local Loyalty Point System, Local Impact Investing Opportunity Network (LIION), Education, and Event-Planning. If you are interested in getting involved, or want more information, please contact Lisa Dawson at lisadawson@neoedd.org, 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454.