Support Small Businesses in Eastern Oregon
22 Nov 2022
Entrepreneurs and small businesses create the newest products and innovations that strengthen the U.S. economy. As the holiday season approaches, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) wishes to celebrate the importance of these local business leaders throughout Eastern Oregon.
Entrepreneurs turn their bright business ideas into small businesses, which made up 99.9 percent of U.S. businesses in 2021. That’s 32.5 million small businesses in the U.S. alone. It is essential to recognize and patronize them to encourage their success and for others to make their ideas become a reality. There are several national and local events and options to do so yet this year.
Small Business Saturday
Saturday, November 26, is Small Business Saturday, a day on which communities across the nation can support local entrepreneurs, shops and other enterprises! American Express organized Small Business Saturday in 2010 to highlight the importance of small businesses to local economies. Now is the perfect time to continue that tradition by patronizing small businesses and getting to know the people bringing their products and services to benefit customers all year.
After you’ve met some entrepreneurs in Eastern Oregon, spread the word about these businesses so more and more people will begin supporting and recommending startups in your area. Be sure to follow their social media accounts. Give them a shout-out in your posts, stories, and hashtags to show your interest and share their stories with others.
Many communities put on family-fun events that develop neighborly goodwill and occur on Main Streets or other popular locations of local, small business densities. Attending these events is an excellent way to support these innovators.
Baker City’s Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 3, at 5:00 p.m. on Main Street. For more information on the parade and other holiday events, go to the Baker County Chamber and Visitor Center website.
Grant County has several community events in its cities and towns like the Blue Mountain Hospital Auxiliary Christmas Bazaar, Monument Ugly Sweater Christmas Bazaar and the Friends of Dayville Winter Bazaar. Information can be found at the Grant County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, John Day hosts its 29th annual Timber Truckers Light Parade on 6:00 p.m., December 11, a unique event featuring many decorated timber trucks.
Hines hosts Black Friday and Small Biz Saturday at the Mill House Mercantile on Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26. Local artists will display their creations each day and visitors can peruse through various dining and shopping options. Burns’ Historic Central Hotel is the site of Winterfest and Makers Market on December 10 on the same day as the city’s Christmas Jamboree and Parade. The Harney County Chamber of Commerce has pertinent times and locations.
The Holiday Sip Shop Repeat Local event occurs Thursday, December 1, with more than 25 local businesses participating in downtown La Grande. The city’s Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting occur on Saturday, December 3. The Union County Chamber of Commerce calendar details the pertinent information.
Small Business Resources
OTEC would like to spotlight the resources available to help entrepreneurs in Eastern Oregon. The following resources are just a few that offer the connections and educational opportunities to help entrepreneurs get their start.
The Oregon Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers free advice on starting, operating and owning small businesses. There are several locations in Eastern Oregon, including:
- Blue Mountain SBDC, with several locations, including Baker City.
- Eastern Oregon SBDC, in La Grande.
The Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation offers training, financial education, assistance and much more for businesses of all sizes.
Ignite La Grande offers tremendous support as a one-stop center for early-stage information and technology businesses. Mentorships, networking events, financial education and numerous collaborations are facilitated in La Grande to accelerate the learning curves for local business entrepreneurs.
The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District provides support with various workshops, financial assistance, technical support and more. It offers a six-week Business Foundations workshop to take a business concept from inception through startup.
The communities of Eastern Oregon are known for their commitment to each other. OTEC is proud to offer energy needs for the people and businesses within. Please contact us for ways we can continue to provide excellent service.