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Portland Business Alliance awarded funding from Bank of America for small business owner development program

Bank of America funds scholarship program to boost small businesses, grow jobs

August 5, 2014

Portland, Ore. – For the fourth year, Bank of America has made it possible for the Portland Business Alliance to offer scholarships to 12 small businesses to help them grow their business to the next level. Bank of America is supporting the Alliance’s small business scholarship program with a $5,000 grant, which will fund scholarships for 12 small business owners to complete a one-year management training course conducted by Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The partnership also includes a mentoring component and a three-year free Alliance membership.
“Bank of America’s support of this program reflects its commitment to workforce development and economic growth in the region,” said David Thompson, vice president of membership and small business at the Portland Business Alliance. “Since the program’s inception, Bank of America has been an instrumental partner in giving small businesses access to the resources necessary for them to grow to the next level.”
Since 2011, the scholarship program has helped small business owners grow jobs and increase revenue. Scholarship recipients from the 2011 and 2012 cohorts added a total of 23 full-time jobs and nearly 38 part-time jobs. Additionally, 13 out of 24 businesses experienced revenue growth equating to a net sales increase of $2,244,952. Ten out of 24 businesses report receiving new financing equating to a total of nearly $2 million in capital gains. 
“Supporting this program is a strategic investment for Bank of America, because it makes a huge impact on small business owners in the community – resulting in a stronger local economy,” said Craig Christenson, small business banking manager in Oregon and Southwest Washington for Bank of America and Portland Business Alliance board member. “It’s been our privilege to be involved with the program since the beginning and I’ve seen firsthand the difference this training has made to so many local businesses. We hope it continues to thrive and look forward to what’s in store for the incoming class.” 
The Alliance will open scholarship applications in September for the 2015 class. If you are interested in learning more about the Alliance’s SBDC scholarship program, contact Amanda Ray at 503-552-6759 or To learn more about the SBDC and its programs, contact Jackie Babicky Peterson at 503-978-5093 or  


About the Portland Business Alliance:
The Portland Business Alliance is Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce. With more than 1,700 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.