REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Governor’s Marketplace Remarks
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Good afternoon. It is my honor to welcome you to the 2019 Governor’s Marketplace.
It is exciting to see so many local businesses and exhibitors from all across the state. Whether you are a startup or more seasoned, I hope you found yesterday’s sessions informative. And that you’ve made new connections.
Today, you will have an opportunity to directly engage with all of our exhibitors and learn through our informative break-out sessions.
It's a full agenda of valuable information. And I hope you are able to hear the inspiring words of our keynote, Stephen Green.
Stephen is a rare business champion with experience both as an entrepreneur and on the financing side. And he’s a vocal cheerleader for the “Buy Local” movement, not just because it makes him feel good, but because he understands that a dollar that stays in Oregon makes us stronger and more resilient. Thank you, Stephen.
Thank you to the City of Salem for hosting us here at the Salem Convention Center. I appreciate the enthusiastic support for this conference, and efforts to keep Salem awesome.
Thank you to 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.
In particular I want to thank my director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Sophorn Cheang, for her leadership, and to Eloisa Miller and Anny Hsiao on her staff, who have poured their hearts and souls into putting this event together.
Our planning team worked tirelessly to assemble exhibitors, speakers, and resources to help you better navigate the public contracting process.
I also want to extend my appreciation to all our state, federal, and local partners who are here today as well. I want to give a very special thank you to our generous sponsors who are committed to focusing on equity in public contracting.
In Oregon, billions of our taxpayer dollars go toward goods and services to serve and fulfill the needs of Oregonians.
We want to spend those Oregon taxpayer dollars with Oregon businesses. And when we are inclusive of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and emerging small businesses, we create a stronger, diverse economy.
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 puts more Oregonians to work.
In fact, ninety-five 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 top priorities is to break down barriers. To make it easier for our small and local businesses to obtain some of the billions of dollars of public contracts.
We want to invest in the entrepreneurs and job creators because you are the businesses that drive Oregon’s economy.
These are important steps we can take at the state level, to make public contracting more accessible. Most importantly, 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 those businesses humming.