Official: Small Business Administration has tools to help Southern Oregon

Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Calvin Goings made a quick swing through Jackson County this week and determined there's more work to be done in Southern Oregon.

The Seattle-based, Obama administration appointee visited with local Small Business Development Center staff as well as People's Bank of Commerce management as part of a whirlwind tour of smaller metropolitan areas in his four-state bailiwick of Alaska, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

"My main take-away is that businesses in Medford are looking for additional tools and resources to get through the economic downturn," said the former banker and Washington state legislator.

"We have tools in our SBA kit — access to capital, contracts and counseling — and the SBA needs to do a better job of promoting those resources in the greater-Medford area," Goings said. "Small businesses still need additional tools to keep the recovery on track, and more importantly, to avoid a double-dip."

He said People's Bank of Commerce was one of the state's leading SBA lenders. He said there were 1,500 SBA loans worth $500 million in Oregon, including 55 loans for $8.8 million by the Medford-based bank.

Goings noted many small business owners weren't aware of how they might go after $100 billion in government contracts that are put to bid annually. He said SBDC can help prepare companies to ramp up to the next level.

He suggested a follow-up summit with SBDC leadership, People's Bank and congressional offices is in the offing, which will promote the agency's resources.

He pitched the administration's American Jobs Act proposal and its incentives to small business, including payroll tax cuts, extended write-offs and tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed, recent veterans and disabled veterans.

Goings also talked up the State Trade and Export Promotions Program, a three-year pilot trade and export initiative.

"The feeling is there is export growth potential for Medford," he said. "We need to explore how Medford can be a leading community in that effort. We want to know what we can do to help the community promote exports."

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