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Governors Marketplace Roadshow makes pit stop in Woodburn

by: JEFF MCDONALD  - Dayna Jung (right), a bilingual business outreach specialist for Salem-based Microenterprise Resources, Initiatives and Training (MERIT) program, discusses training opportunities for Latino entrepreneurs that are available in Woodburn. Bilingual business owners looking for government contacts got connected Wednesday as part of the Governor’s Marketplace Roadshow, a tour of state agencies that made its last stop of the year in Woodburn.

Businesses certified as minority, women or emerging have ample opportunities to tap into a $2.5 billion pot of state money that funds projects including road and construction, information technology, staffing and landscaping, said Cheryl Myers, director of Economic and Business Equity for the Governor’s Office.

Businesses were able to connect with a variety of state agencies, including Oregon Department of Transportation, the Department of Revenue and Cover Oregon, which is managing the state’s health care rollout.

“There are a lot of opportunities,” Myers said.

“We would like to see more Oregon small businesses participate.”

Woodburn was selected as the bilingual stop on the tour due to its prominent Hispanic community, Myers said.

Last year’s tour included a bilingual stop in Hillsboro, she said.

The workshop gave step-by-step training on how to get certified as a minority business, woman-owned business and emerging small business.

The training also helped businesses learn how to obtain potential state and federal contracts.

The prospect of government contracts for small businesses is appealing for Woodburn’s labor-oriented, small business sector, said Aileen Cutz, program coordinator for Latino Microenterprise Resources, Initiative & Training (MERIT), a Salem-based training program which has opened a chapter in Woodburn.

“We can get government contracts for Woodburn certified, minority-owned businesses,” Cutz said. “This opens up a huge possibility.”

Minority and women business certification is possible when a business has 51 percent or greater women or minority owners. An emerging small business is limited to Oregon businesses with 29 or fewer employees whose annual gross revenues over the last three years have not exceeded $3.4 million for construction firms and $1.1 million for non-construction firms.

Applications can be completed at www.oregon4biz.com/certification.

Step one for gaining access to government contracts is registering on the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN), which is the state’s resource for obtaining government contracts. The agency’s website is www.orpin.oregon.gov.

After registering, small business owners can get certified through the Office of Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business, Myers said.




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