Have you ever wanted to sell your product or service to the state or federal government?

After all, the state and federal governments are the largest employers in Grant County, and government workers count for just under half of the total non-farm workforce in the county. Getting a contract with a government agency can bring in a considerable amount of money.

But how do you get registered as an appropriate business? What are the federal and state codes that need to be followed to get a contract? What opportunities are out there?

These questions and more will be answered Thursday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Guernsey Building Conference Room. The Small Business Development Center along with Eastern Oregon University and Blue Mountain Community College are putting on a seminar going over the "Basics of Selling to the State and Federal Government."

Find out about registering for Oregon's Procurement Information Network. Learn to understand federal codes. Discover the information concerning the Special Small Business Programs in Federal Contracting, Federal contracting opportunities and Oregon's Small Business Certification Program. The instructor is Mike Bowen of the Government Contract Assistance Program (GCAP) Portland office and he will be able to answer your questions.

So if you have ever wanted to have the state or federal government as your customer, May 17 is the perfect day to find out how. For more information on the seminar or the Small Business Development Center, call Steve Dahl at 575-1555 or Donna Jo at 541-962-1532.

As many of you know the Grant County Economic Development department was scheduled to be cut from the 2007-2008 county budget. The budget committee decided that for the next budget year they would come up with half the funds, if the Business Community of Grant County could come up with the other half.

Then, in the 2008-2009 funding cycle, the cities and businesses of Grant County along with the Southeast Regional Alliance would be the sole funders of the Economic Development Position. As of right now we have met the needed dollar amount to fund this position for the 2007-2008 budget cycle in large part to Winner's Choice Custom Bowstring, Old West Federal Credit Union, Sterling Savings Bank and the Transient Room Tax, but more help is needed to keep this position going for longer than next year. So when your business receives a letter asking for help funding Economic Development in Grant County, please give generously.

Finally, in a report released last month by the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, Grant County had the fifth fastest wage growth of all the counties in Oregon at 3.8 percent in 2004-2005 and third fastest growth in per capita personal income in Oregon at 4.14 percent from 2000-2004.

On the downside Grant County was second in the state for having the lowest manufacturing employment with 241 people in 2005 and had the highest unemployment rate in 2006 at 8.6 percent but that was 2.2 percent points lower than the 10-year average of 10.6 percent.

This tells us that people are moving to Grant County and bringing their wealth with them. In other words, things are beginning to turn around.

Steve Dahl is the Grant County economic development coordinator.

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