Last week Secretary of State Kate Brown announced the hiring of Oregon’s first Small Business Advocate. In her new role, Kimberly Mitchell-Phillips will not only help entrepreneurs navigate state regulations, but she will also recommend legislative and policy changes to improve the state’s business climate.
Mitchell-Phillips comes to the new job from the office of Gov. John Kitzhaber, where she served as the Deputy Director for Economic and Business Equity. In that role, she coordinated efforts with more than 75 state agencies to develop opportunities for minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small businesses to receive government contracts.
Sponsored by a bi-partisan group of a dozen legislators, HB 3459 created the Office of Small Business Assistance in the Secretary of State’s Corporation Division. HB 3459 passed 49-9 in the House and 28-1 in the Senate. The Small Business Advocate was located in the Corporation Division because it is the first place that new businesses connect with state government. In addition, the Secretary of State’s office is not a business regulatory agency, so it is well suited to act as a neutral broker between entrepreneurs and state regulators.
Mitchell-Phillips started Dec. 9. To hear the Business Beat program that includes this interview, click on the grey podcast bar b elow.