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Entrepreneurs must complete a course provided by nonprofit partners, which means saving anywhere from $97 to $1,261.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Businesses that agree to complete a free or low-cost program offered by eight business advising organizations will have their 2021 fees waived. "Help me to help you."

That's the message from the Tigard City Council, which recently agreed to waive business license fees for new businesses in 2021 — provided they take a course city officials hope will better prepare them to succeed, stay in business and grow.

The waiver will be granted to new businesses that complete a free or low-cost program offered by eight business advising organizations, which are offering everything from one-on-one help to 30-hour training programs.

Participating firms include Adelante?Mujeres, Hispanic?Metropolitan?Chamber, Mercy Corps Northwest, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon, Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, Professional Development Group, SCORE Portland and Small Business Development Center.

"Using a business license fee waiver as an incentive to encourage entrepreneurs to 'skill up' as they start their business is one way we can help ensure all businesses can easily connect to resources that help them grow and add value to the community," Mayor Jason Snider said in a news release.

In the past, Tigard's economic development staff has worked with business partners through programs such as Los Empresarios de Tigard, a business networking program for Hispanic or Latino entrepreneurs.

Lloyd Purdy, Tigard's economic development manager, said businesses who work with a support network are better prepared for success. The program is designed to encourage those business owners to build a network, he explained.

The fee waiver is especially valuable for new and small business owners, Purdy noted. License fees range from $97 annually for businesses with two or less employees to $1,261 for those with 76 employees or more.

"By connecting new business owners with advising resources, we are helping them build their support system and network," Purdy said. "This incentive program is inclusive and any new business owners can participate. We're encouraging entrepreneurs of color, especially, to use this incentive to connect with business advising partners that meet their needs."


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