While starting and running a small business may be part of the American dream, it’s definitely not easy. Business owners may need help decided how to expand, where to find capital and even how to file the necessary paperwork to start, and stay, in business. In Eugene, Oregon, there are several little-known resources and places to turn for business help and advice. Here are a few of the key players:
The Eugene Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start for any business. The Chamber offers many workshops and clinics, as well as an opportunity to network and get to know other business owners in Eugene. For information on upcoming events, or just more about the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, visit the website at www.eugenechamber.com or call 541-484-1314.
The Lane Community College Business Development Center is another fantastic community resource. The Business Development Center offers classes, a library, counselors and other services targeted to helping Eugene businesses thrive. The Center is located at 1445 Willamette Street. The web address is www.laneBDC.com or you can call 541-463-5255.
The Eugene office of the Oregon State Employment Department can also help small business owners with advice and resources, particularly pertaining to finding and keeping employees and training staff. Call 541-686-7601 or try the following websites: www.emp.state.or.us or www.workinginoregon.org.
The Small Business Administration, a division of the federal government does not have a Eugene office, but there is one in Oregon. Call 503-323-2682 or visit the website at www.sba.gov. The Small Business Administration has loans and grants available, as well as information helpful to the small business owner and the start-up entrepreneur.
SCORE is the Service Corps of Retired Executives and this is an organization dedicated to connecting current business owners, employees and executives with those who have retired from a successful career. These individuals make fantastic mentors and can help with a variety of problems and projects. In Eugene, call 541-465-6600 or go to www.score.org.
For women and people of minority in business in Eugene, there are a couple different resources: The Office of MinorityWomen and Emerging Small Business at www.cbs.state.or.us/external.omwesb (543-887-4349) and the Oregon Associationof Minority Entrepreneurs at www.oame.org (503-249-7744).
Depending on the type of business you work in, the licensing requirement and other issues that may come up, you may find answers at one or more of the following agencies:
Oregon Department of Justice at www.doj.state.or.us/FinFraud/welcome3.htm
Oregon Department of Agriculture at www.oda.state.or.us
Oregon Economic and Community Development Department at www.bluebook.state.or.us.
United States Copyright Office at www.loc.gov/copyright
U.S. Department of Commerce at www.doc.gov
Lastly, while not free, there are loans available from the City of Eugene for business start-up or expansion. Call Denny Braud at 541-682-5536 of the Planning and Development Department, Development Division of the Eugene City government to find out more about what’s available.