PBA launches 2023 small business cohort with PCC

February 2023

The Small Business Management Scholarship Program is a 10-month program run by Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center with program instructor Dr. Sean Harry. This program is designed to amplify and support small businesses and their job growth and specifically train these businesses in valuable skills to help increase revenue, improve overall operations, and hire new employees. Additionally, each participant receives a complimentary, two-year membership to the Portland Business Alliance at the end of the program. Each year, the Alliance awards program scholarships to small business owners who are ready to move their business to the next level.

These scholarships are made possible thanks to a generous partnership with Bank of America.

“Small business has, and always will be, a critical and crucial part of the economy. Their ability to create diverse jobs, provide new opportunities, and drive innovation is an integral part to our thriving community,” said Art Avitia, Portland Business Alliance Board Member and Senior Relationship Manager, Global Commercial Banking for Bank of America. “As long-time supporters of PCC’s Small Business Development Program, we applaud this year’s class and their dedication to improving business relationships in the Portland Metro region.”

For the first time since the pandemic began, this year’s class was able to meet at the Alliance’s office for their first class of the year. Over the next year, they will be participating in monthly classes that will give them the tools needed to give their businesses the advantage to grow and adapt in our ever-changing business economy.

“Through the SBDC program, I met a law firm that helped me with the initial business sale contract of Derek’s when I purchased this business and I was also introduced to my current bookkeeper which has been invaluable,” said Jessica Jones, class of 2022 and owner of Derek’s Shoe Repair. “I didn’t even know how much help I needed when I started this course, but then all of it was right there, ready to support me. This program is going to change your life and open up so many doors.”

The Alliance is proud to introduce the Class of 2023:

If you would like more information about this topic or to learn more about the program, please contact Rebecca McCulloch at