Forest Grove partners with MESO to provide free market research
The City of Forest Grove continues to offer aid to local small businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this time by way of free and discounted marketing services.
The City has contracted with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), a regional non-profit that specializes in a range of small business services, to offer their MarketLink services.
Forest Grove Economic Development Manager Jeff King said that in the past, the City used to help subsidize small business training through the Small Business Development Center which offered quite a few different courses for small businesses at Portland Community College's Willow Creek Center. This idea however, allows for existing or burgeoning businesses with a product or service to gain access to the type of valuable research for little or no cost, opposed to what might normally cost them a relatively significant amount.
"Market research can be quite expensive," King said. "What MESO can do is allow small businesses to access that information at lower costs. Now they can know their competitors, costs and direction of the industry, along with who's your target customer."
MarketLink provides customized research to help you determine need, target and size of the market, competition and strategies to enter or expand your product and service in the marketplace.
• Customized market research to determine business feasibility, aid in the development of marketing or business plans and support sales and revenue growth.
• Targeted marketing lists for start-up and ongoing businesses to generate sales revenue. Mailing addresses and contact information to reach potential customers today.
• Location Analysis — Mapping information to analyze customers, competition and location.
• Supply Chain — identify alternate or other manufacturers or suppliers.
• Digital Sales Platforms —provide technical assistance to business on use of e-commerce sales platforms and/or digital marketing.
The City will cover the cost of the initial report and related services.
Research is conducted in-house using professional and proprietary databases, as well as interviews with industry experts. Besides research and analysis, MESO can also provide direct marketing solutions, such as contact leads and individualized labels.
King said the City is very cognizant of the struggles local small businesses have and are going through as the result of the ongoing pandemic, and because of that they've tried to do as much as possible to aid them in this time of need. He spoke to a handful of specific things, including but not limited to the identification of grant money; getting them technical assistance by way of the Business Recovery Center; and providing as much information as possible about local assistance, including CARES Act money, PPP loans, and even free legal aid.
"Obviously, a lot of people are struggling to stay in business," King said. "So we want to help as much as we can. Is it enough? We don't know that, but it's helping people from closing their doors, and that's a good place to start."
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