Media Room

May 5, 2016

Good afternoon, everyone.  Thanks so much for inviting me to join you today.
As your governor, it’s my goal to create a thriving statewide economy that encourages our businesses to hum in every single corner of the state.

To accomplish this goal, equity must be at the forefront.

With this in mind, I recently created the Small Business advisory Cabinet.  We have had two meetings.  I will describe them as raucous and scintillating, and we are focused on tackling three key challenges for small businesses:  access to capital, mentorship and identifying unique regulatory challenges for small businesses. 

Rest assured that our recommendations will take into consideration the challenges faced by our rural small businesses and businesses owned by women and people of color, all of which are well represented on the cabinet. As Stephen Green mentioned in our last meeting, we are focused on ensuring that equity is not the icing on the cake… but the flour as we are baking it.

With the leadership of Chris Harder, now director at Business Oregon, PDC, and Multnomah County partnered with the State to start the inclusive start up fund here in the metro region.  I’m happy to say that the first fund closed yesterday with initial outside investors. Currently five startups are in due diligence for equity investments up to $75K each. The five initial startups include three Black founders, one Latino founder, and one Veteran.  Two of those founders are women. The startups also represent a diversity of industry from food to apparel to tech.

When we partner and leverage resources, we can improve outcomes for communities who have traditionally been left out.

I look forward to working with you to do this work. Work that we must do together.