Settlemier's Award Jackets is a Portland staple that's been serving the Pacific Northwest since 1990. In 2022, third generation owner and operator Aaron Settlemier became part of the Advanced Small Business Management cohort through the PCC Small Business Development Center. Throughout the 10-month business training program, Aaron says he and his team have "realized new ways to access capital, revamped our business manuals, developed systems that separate the business from a single person (the owner), and made more precise and professional short-term and long-term goals." This is Aaron's story.
PCC SBDC client Mara McLoughlin built IRL Social Skills to help autistic and other socially struggling teens, adults, and their parents lead successful social lives. When the COVID-pandemic hit, Mara sought professional guidance through PCC SBDC's one-on-one business advising. Her advisor, Jackie B. Peterson, guided Mara in building a foundation on which her new business could grow. Now, IRL Social Skills is serving individuals and families in Oregon and beyond, helping them make and keep friends! This is Mara's story.
Past Lives is a 26,000 square foot maker-space located in Eastside Portland. Inspired by a life-changing accident and time spent in prison, founder Brandon Morlock created Past Lives to change the way work is done and provide second-chance employment for people coming out the prison system. Unlike any other maker-space in Portland, Past Lives offers a wood shop, metal shop, machine shop, screen-printing machinery, fabric arts shop, stained glass shop, tech hub, electronics fab bench, art framing area, common work areas and private studio spaces to their members. After working with Bruce Melzer, SBDC Capital Access Team expert, Morlock secured an investment to open Past Lives' new location and grow his business. This is Morlock's story.
Casey Campbell is founder and owner of Elemental Studios, a community ceramics studio that offers classes, workshops, and monthly memberships grounded in wellness education and practice. With a mission to help build community around ceramic arts education and wellness principles and practices, Casey and his team work to help people engage creatively and develop self-care practices they can use in and out of the studio. Casey worked with the PCC SBDC to start his business and now, after hiring five employees and continually increasing revenue, Casey continues to work with the PCC SBDC as Elemental Studios reaches its next growth phase.
Ashleigh Atwood owns Maid in Portland, a local eco-friendly residential and commercial cleaning service in Portland, Oregon. After being in business for 15 years, Ashleigh enrolled in the 2022 Advanced Small Business Management training program provided by the PCC Small Business Development Center. During her time in the program, Ashleigh has found a renewed sense of passion for her business, while expanding her team and increasing her revenue by 10%!
Kayla Banda moved to Portland from Reno, Nevada during the COVID pandemic. Having worked at the Small Business Development Center in Reno, she reached out to inquire about assisting small businesses in Portland and was immediately welcomed to the PCC SBDC team.
Portland is a city of the future, and the significant career trends reflect in the marketplace. While the 2020s have many uncertainties about what industries will emerge as most successful, it is becoming increasingly clear that specific fields will be vital in employing hundreds or even thousands of people, compared to past decades.
It's been true for decades that gender roles in United States workplaces have been changing. While this can sometimes feel jarring if you grew up expecting to interact in one way with men and another with women, culturally, learning these changing norms can be very helpful. Furthermore, the growing inclusion and acceptance of transgender and nonbinary identities in the professional sphere has added additional challenges for those who may not understand these concepts or simply not be aware of how to address their colleagues.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
The newly designed Business Builders program is designed to help our clients put a strong foundation under their growing businesses. This unique program consists of 10 sessions, each three hours long, each focused on one of the critical elements necessary to help you develop strong roots for your growing business while creating systems and processes to ensure long term resiliency, flexibility and success.