The Union County Leadership Team, composed of all the mayors in the cities in the county and representatives from the Union County Chamber of Commerce and the Union County Commissioners have set up a meeting for any current or budding business owner to learn more about what the county has to offer.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Blue Mountain Conference Center.

According to Union County Commissioner Donna Beverage, the meeting is designed to show business owners how much they mean to the community.

“We want them to know what services are available to them to help retain their business, expand it or start a new one,” Beverage said.

The event will include about 12 presentations from nonprofit organizations and government entities to give the owners an idea of what resources are available in every facet of business development.

“That includes financing, creating a business plan and marketing,” Beverage said.

The idea behind this first-of-its-kind offering is the fact that local business owners haven’t had the opportunity to network with the resources under one roof.

“I feel like people have been working in silos,” Beverage said. “They’re doing good things, but I don’t think they necessarily know (all the resources that are available).”

Those who attend the summit will be given a master list of the resources with all the speakers’ contact information, she said. There will also be maps available from the county and the individual cities to show the available industrial and commercial land. Brochures from the speakers will also be given.

“The contacts will also be listed on the Union County Chamber’s website under a business tab,” Beverage said.

Among the speakers, WorkSource Oregon will be there to talk about job training. Regional Solution and Business Oregon, which are both state agencies that work out of Eastern Oregon University, will give presentations, as will the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, she said.

“As I walk around and talk to businesses, (I’ve seen that) they’re so busy doing their jobs they don’t have the time to search out the resources that are available,” Beverage said. “I want this to be a somewhat of a one-stop shop for them.”

See complete story in Monday's Observer