REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
March 22, 2018
Good afternoon. It is my honor to welcome you to the 2018 Governor’s Marketplace.
It is exciting to see so many local businesses and exhibitors from all across the state. This year’s conference has broken the record for the number of attendees. I hope you found yesterday’s sessions informative, and that you’ve made new connections.
Mayor Bennett, thank you for hosting us here at the Salem Convention Center. I appreciate your enthusiastic support for this conference, and efforts to make Salem awesome.
I'd like to thank my Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Affirmative Action for convening this year’s conference and taking this show on the road throughout this year.
My team worked tirelessly to assemble exhibitors, speakers, and resources to help you better navigate the public contracting process.
This will be Serena Stoudamire’s last Governor’s Marketplace, and I want to thank you for your incredible leadership as director of my Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Affirmative Action.
I also want to extend my appreciation to all our state, federal, and local partners who are here today as well.
Public agencies in Oregon spend billions of dollars on goods and services every year— the State of Oregon spends $8 billion on procurement services alone. And each represents opportunities for small businesses, like you.
Our small and local businesses are the driving force of our thriving statewide economy.
Better access to contracting opportunities creates more opportunities for you to grow your business, and to put more Oregonians to work.
In fact, ninety percent of Oregon’s businesses are considered small. And seventy percent of new jobs in Oregon are created when existing in-state businesses expand.
One of my priorities is to break down barriers, to make it easier for our small and local businesses to obtain some of the billion dollars of public contracts.
We want to invest in the entrepreneurs and job creators because you are the businesses that drive Oregon’s economy.
To help bust barriers, today I’m signing an Executive Order to change the way contracting works in state government.
I am directing state agencies to work more collaboratively on contracting opportunities. State agencies will now be required to develop more equitable procurement practices, and expand access to contracting resources for businesses in every single corner of the state.
These are important steps we can take today, at the state level, to make public contracting more accessible. But, we want to hear from you on more ways the state can be a better partner.
Let’s continue to be creative in the way we do business in Oregon. Let’s find more ways to collaborate so entrepreneurs and innovators in all our communities can get your business started and thrive.