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NEOEDD’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Northeast Oregon.

The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) is a public organization established in 1985. Baker, Union and Wallowa counties formed the District by Intergovernmental Agreement as a way to enhance community and economic development services in the region.

Our staff members are dedicated to the communities they serve in northeast Oregon and have strong business networking, facilitation, financial, organizational and project development skills.

If you are starting or growing a business, ask us about our business finance and business training programs.

If you are working on a public infrastructure or a community project ask us about services for local governments and community groups.

If you are part of a non-profit organization ask how we can help your board and workers strategize, fund and operate in ways that best meet your mission.

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 Jun. 23 to reserve your seat in Wallowa, Elgin, Baker City, or La Grande. 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 variable costs, goal-setting and sales projections, marketing, and other considerations, and brings it all together in a business plan.

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

Workshops take place:
• Wallowa: Mondays, Jul. 10 – Aug. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Wallowa City Hall, 104 N Pine St.
• Elgin: Tuesdays, Jul. 11 – Aug. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Elgin Depot, 300 Depot St.
• Baker City: Wednesdays, Jul. 12 – Aug. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. at HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St.
• La Grande: Thursdays, Jun. 29 – Aug. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 1215 Adams Ave.
To register, call NEOEDD by Friday, Jun. 23 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 six weeks, with the following topics:
• Gaining Perspective: View business concept from a high altitude in order to define vision, set priorities, 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, identify and assess competitors, and target markets.
• Get the Word Out: Discuss creative marketing strategies and give peer feedback on product, or marketing materials.
• Goodbye & Good Luck: Present business plans and generate 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

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.

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