‘Resource Fair’ supports small Asian businesses

INCLUDES VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS | Discover why, and where, this ‘Small Business Resource Fair’ was held in outer East Portland …

At the front desk, checking in attendees, are in Jeremy Hart, APANO Jade District Community Development Coordinator; and Ruth Neuhauser, Community Services Network Event Services Coordinator.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A combination of cold rain and snow flurries didn’t seem to hinder participation in the first-ever Small Business Resource Fair on Tuesday afternoon, February 28, in the Orchards of 82nd building on SE Division Street and 82nd Avenue of Roses.

The fair was set up in the meeting space of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO).

Stopping to talk, and pausing for a photo, are event organizers Grace Pae-Henricks, and Community Services Network PDX Executive Director Annie Lindekugel.

“The Small Business Resource Fair is offering our entrepreneurs and small business community the connections to some of the many great vendors and service providers helping them obtain small business resources,” explained Grace Pae-Henricks, Small Business Advisor Manager at APANO Communities United Fund.

“We have about 15 organizations represented here today,” Pae-Henricks told East Portland News. “They include – for example – Portland 311 Information, Energy Trust of Oregon, Prosper Portland, ‘Kuto’ (a new equitably-managed shopping app), and East County Bridges.

Watch this video and see the action take place at this unique Small Business Fair:

Attendees engage with one service provider after another, learning about the services offered.

Asked how the idea for such an fair came about, Pae-Henricks responded, “Due to the COVID pandemic, we’ve been really been ‘laying low’ for the last three years. But we have wanted to put on some sort of event to help connect small business owners with our community.

“Thanks to a partnership with Community Services Network PDX, they helped us host a ‘Neighborhood Resource Fair’ last fall,” Pae-Henricks went on. “From that, we got a great working relationship with them; and ‘cooked up’ this idea!”

Guests pause during the fair for a door-prize drawing.

Those already in business, and those looking to start one, moved from table to table, learning about a variety of helpful services and programs designed to aid small businesses.

Guests enjoyed the cuisine provided by Thai Fresh, served up by Soutavong Vongdeuane.

“The best thing that can come out of this, in my opinion, is helping small business owners and entrepreneurs discover ways to use the services and resources that are available to them here in Portland,” opined Pae-Henricks. “And beyond that, empowering and supporting them to help them grow, stabilize, and be successful.”

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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