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Local Program Gives Local Small Businesses a Fresh Shot at Success

Owners learn personal and professional skills to keep business growing; new inductees announced for 2015

For more information: 
Liza Dossick | 503.552.6772, 

December 1, 2014

Portland, Ore. – Today 11 Portland-area small business owners graduated from a unique, local program that teaches business management skills. The 10-month Small Business Management Scholarship Program, offered by the Portland Business Alliance Charitable Institute Inc. and Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), is designed to put established entrepreneurs on the right track toward business success, including the ability to grow private-sector jobs. Also announced today, 12 new inductees will start their journey in this program. 

“This program has impacted nearly every aspect of this business,” said Claire Teasdale, part owner of Rain or Shine Coffee House, and a 2014 graduate. “My business partner and I learned to prioritize not only what needed to happen within the business or business structure to improve, but also what we needed to do personally to make ourselves more effective while at work. Our employees are happier as well because now their work and our expectations are much more clear and dependable.”
Teasdale said both sales and recognition outside her neighborhood have improved recently, and the business has created better structure and consistency in its jobs. Portland Community College’s SBDC reports that the graduating class has created 15 part-time jobs, 19 full-time jobs and a net sales increase of $887,290. The total impact of the program, including job value and increase in sales, equates to $1,152,490.
The program also offers other small business courses tailored to different stages of small business growth. Applicants who do not fit into the scholarship program are paired with the right services and courses.
“Not only does this program keep shops from closing their doors, it sets up a strong path for future success,” said Craig Christenson, small business banking manager in Oregon and Southwest Washington for Bank of America and Portland Business Alliance board member. “When these businesses succeed, the region gains living-wage jobs and more funding for critical public services. The whole region benefits economically, structurally and creatively.” 
The Small Business program is made possible thanks to a generous partnership with Bank of America. For more information on this program, please visit
2014 graduates include owners from the following local businesses: New 2015 inductees represent:
The Portland Business Alliance
The Portland Business Alliance is Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce. With more than 1,800 members, the Alliance strives to promote and foster an environment in the Portland region that attracts, supports and retains private-sector jobs, spurs economic vitality and enables quality educational opportunities for the region's residents. Learn more at
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.

Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility:
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community. For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.