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Applications for Portland Business Alliance small business scholarships now open

Fifth year of small business owner development program helps boost small businesses, grow jobs

For more information, contact:
Liza Dossick  |  503.552.6772 or

September 23, 2014

Portland, Ore. – The Portland Business Alliance and Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) announced the fifth year of their small business scholarship program, as applications for the class of 2015 are now being accepted.  As part of the partnership, the Alliance underwrites the cost for 12 small business owners to complete a one-year training course conducted by the SBDC. The partnership also includes a mentoring component and a two-year free Alliance membership. The program is entirely funded by grants from the Alliance’s Charitable Institute and Bank of America.
 “As a small business owner, I understand what it takes to grow a business, and this program provides business owners with tools they need to successfully grow their markets and add jobs,” said Debbie Kitchin, chair of the Portland Business Alliance board of directors and principal of InterWorks, LLC. “Over the past four years, this partnership has had a proven track record of helping our region’s small businesses develop and add jobs.”
The course is designed for owners of small businesses who qualify as “traded sector” because they sell a portion of their products or services outside of the Portland region. Qualified applicants must have been in business for three to five years, have at least one employee and are looking to take their business to the next level.  Program participants will meet monthly.  Topics of the SBDC classes include:
  • Sourcing capital and financing;
  • Financial and marketing management; and
  • International markets.
“We are pleased to support the SBDC’s small business scholarship program,” said Craig Christenson, Bank of America Small Business Banking Manager. “Oregon is a great state for small business, and supporting those small business owners through this scholarship is one way Bank of America is helping to connect members of our community with the resources they need to succeed.” 
The 36 scholarship recipients from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 cohorts added a total of 28 full-time jobs and more than 47 part-time jobs. Additionally, 20 out of 36 businesses experienced revenue growth equating to a net sales increase of $3,541,252. The Alliance is also tracking this year’s class to measure business and job growth.
To participate in the program, interested small business owners should fill out an application form on the Alliance website by October 18.  A selection committee will review applications and conduct interviews in November.  Participants will be selected in December and will begin the one-year program in February.  
If you are interested in learning more about the program, contact Jackie Babicky-Peterson at 503-978-5093 or

About the SBDC
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Portland Community College is one of 19 in the state of Oregon, offering growth and development opportunities for small business owners throughout the PCC district.