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The Beaverton City Library will host the workshop with the help of the nonprofit SCORE.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Many Portland food cart operators say the relatively low overhead costs have allowed them to chase dreams that would have been impossible had they needed to secure traditional restaurant space. The Beaverton Library is offering a workshop to help get them started.

Editor's Note: The event is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The original story is written below.

With food carts popping up left and right in the Portland area, the Beaverton City Library is offering a free workshop to help people open their own.

On March 17, with the help of the nonprofit SCORE, the library will host a Starting a Food Cart Business workshop. The event covers licensing, agency approvals, estimated costs and other issues that can lead to a successful food cart business in the area.

"When customers ask about competitive information regarding restaurants that are searchable in databases, then it's easier to find comparative information," explained Beaverton adult services reference librarian Jill Adams. "But a lot of times the food cart businesses, you can try to Google them … but the costs of starting a restaurant or having a franchise are going to be different than a food cart."

PMG FILE PHOTO - With many food trucks in the Portland area, the Beaverton City Library is hosting a workshop for those curious on how to open their own.

That's where the workshop comes in.

Presenter David Blass will break down people's concerns and burning questions about the food cart business. Blass is also a business professional with more than 35 years of experience, including time in the restaurant business and high-tech sector.

The SCORE volunteer also started his own business, sold it, reinvented two businesses, and is currently the general manager of a small company in the flat panel display industry.

"What the SCORE mentor wants to do is be sort of this compassionate and non-judgmental mentor who puts the work back on the food cart person," said Adams.

The presenter will tell attendees to find information such as industry ratios or lists of other companies. It can be overwhelming for some people on how to find that information, but the librarians are on standby to help people on where to start.

"They're not going to have the data, but they'll know that at the library, we can help you get that data," added Adams.

If people need more help, the library also offers an entrepreneur clinic on Wednesday, March 18, from 2 to 3 p.m. The free speed coaching session offers counselors and business information experts that can move people to the next step in the process.

Adams hopes people can attend the workshop to learn new information or head over to the clinic to ask specific questions. Starting in May, the clinic will extend another hour for people to ask specific marketing questions.

As for the food cart workshop, people can attend the event from 5-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 at the Beaverton City Library Auditorium.

Online registration is required, visit conta.cc/2FLEhqN for more information.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Danny Chan of Sumo Sushi prepares lunch at his PSU food cart location. The Beaverton City Library is offering a workshop to help others own their own food cart in the area.


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