PCC’s SBDC works with small businesses to access help during COVID-19
Photos and Story by Sarah Rose Evans
Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Global Trade Center is part of a statewide network helping local businesses access critical assistance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.By visiting bizcenter.org/COVID-19, PCC’s SBDC and Global Trade Center and Oregon Small Business Development Center Network staff work one-on-one with small businesses to navigate the economic crisis, advising on issues such as applying for federal CARES Act, state and local funding, cash management, business model modification, supply chain management, strategic planning, and more.
“We are actively engaged in deep and meaningful ways for small business re-opening, recovery and resilience,” said Tammy Marquez-Oldham, director of the PCC Small Business Development Center and Global Trade Center. “We know there are positive outcomes to be felt by small businesses while serving them virtually with advising, training, tools, strategy and access to resources and capital.”
Advisors are updating information in real-time for small businesses to access, as well as one-on-one advising as they apply for the Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loan, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and future stimulus programs. Each day new programs are available through individual cities, as well as business partners and economic development partners across the state. Organizations are working together and leveraging scarce resources to serve as many small businesses as possible.
This work is critical, because in Portland alone there are more than 50,000 small businesses. With many small businesses shuttered due to stay-home orders, many are having to close their businesses and lay off employees. The re-opening of Oregon with Governor Kate Brown’s phase-in plan adds an additional level of complexity.
As part of the Oregon SBDC Network (OSBDCN) and Small Business Administration (SBA), the 19 SBDCs and Global Trade center act as a unified network to rapidly respond to this economic crisis in conjunction with Business Oregon and local community partners. The SBDC is also creating virtual communities so business owners can help each other.
“The SBDC and Global Trade Center teams have created retail, restaurant and global trade virtual meetups where business owners from all over Oregon can exchange experiences and resources,” Marquez-Oldham explained. “They share what they’ve learned about various aspects of rebuilding and managing businesses during this time. These communities create a supportive, inclusive, accessible solution-finding and resource-rich environment for small business owners at no cost.”
With inquiries more than tripling in the past weeks, the SBDC and Global Trade Center isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon.
“We haven’t reached maximum capacity yet, but we’re already working with partners to ensure that no matter what the need, business owners get the support and resources necessary for their path forward,” she continued.
Oliver Alexander is the owner of Remote.ly, a co-working community featuring monthly members and private offices for individuals. He said, “The SBDC and Capital Access team provided us with assistance in submitting the Economic Injury Disaster loan application, and we secured $30,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program. In turn, we shared this great resource with thousands of small businesses through our e-newsletter.”
To access the statewide advising network, visit bizcenter.org/COVID-19/
PCC’s SBDC is part of the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network, which provides advising, training, online courses and resources for businesses throughout the state. The network’s 19 conveniently-located centers and 42 locations assist business people in every aspect of business development and management. For more information about PCC’s center, visit pcc.edu/climb/small-business/