Portland Mercado

Photo via Portland Mercado

Americans hail from different cultures, practice different religions, and speak different languages.  Although English is the primary language in the US, the country does not have an official language.  In Oregon, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language and according to a survey conducted by the US Census Bureau in 2012, Oregon has over 116,000 citizens that only speak Spanish.  That’s 3.64% of the population, which makes Oregon the fourteenth highest Spanish-speaking-only state.  When Hatch Innovation Executive Director Amy Pearl drafted the intrastate securities rules in Oregon in 2014, she knew she wanted those rules to be accessible to all Oregonian entrepreneurs.

We at Hatch Oregon enlisted the help of Spanish-speaking attorney (and ComCap16 alum), Jason Barker from HK Law, to translate the law.  Jason will be speaking at ComCap16 and was kind enough to participate in an email interview; here’s what he had to say about translating the rules (also known as the “OIO Exemption“).

Why do you think it’s important to have the intrastate securities crowdfunding rules translated in to Spanish?  

The OIO exemption was adopted to address the difficulties that micro-entrepreneurs have in gaining access to capital from traditional financing sources. These difficulties are due in part to economies of scale; however, relative size and creditworthiness are not the only barriers facing emerging businesses in Oregon. Language is another barrier to which we ought to be sensitive.

What impact do you believe it will have? 

To use a metaphor, I think translating the rules into Spanish is another arrow in the quiver of tools available to Oregon entrepreneurs. Its purpose is twofold: (1) It expands the potential reach of the OIO exemption; and (2) it acknowledges the diversity of entrepreneurship in Oregon.

Why did you volunteer to translate the law?

I studied law in Spanish both in South America and in U.S. Law school.  Also, while living abroad in South America I was the beneficiary of incredible affection and hospitality from the Latin America community.  In a sense, I am repaying a debt.

When do you anticipate that it will be done?

This month. February, 2016

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