PORTLAND, Ore – The Oregon Small Business Development Centers (OSBDCN) are available to support businesses that need assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. These centers have expert advisers who are actively working with lenders and the Small Business Administration to understand the latest developments with the rapidly changing assistance programs. In addition, advisers can help businesses look at cashflow and other needs to get through this crisis. All SBDC services are currently offered virtually.
“If any business owner feels like they need help, call us, visit our website, bizcenter.org/centers to connect with their local center,” said Mark Gregory, state director of the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network. “Time is a precious commodity right now. The earlier we can help a business, the better the chances the business will survive.”
Federal programs like the Paycheck Protection Program through banks and the SBA, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL) are playing a critical role in helping businesses stay afloat. The state’s Workshare Program through the Oregon Employment Department is also helping businesses retain employees. SBDCs work with local businesses to connect them to the right resources. SBDC advisers, many of them former successful small business owners and bankers, understand both the needs and the available resources locally.
“We have never seen both a public health and economic crisis like this before. Businesses in our communities need vital assistance to make it through this difficult time. Our centers are here to help,” said Gregory. “We are hearing a lot of information about the federal assistance programs. The rollout of these programs has been challenging, and as a result processes are changing quickly. Our advisers have the latest information and resources to help.”
Business owners should visit https://bizcenter.org/centers to find their center and speak with an adviser.
Oregon’s Small Business Development Centers are the largest business assistance provider in Oregon. Centers are hosted at all 17 community colleges, Southern Oregon University and Eastern Oregon University. The Oregon SBDC Network is funded through a cooperative between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Business Oregon, and other private and public partners.
OSBDCN is hosted by Lane Community College in Eugene. Portland, Clackamas and Mt. Hood community colleges have robust SBDCs.
“We are moving our small business training online to build community and share resources, while learning together,” said Tammy Marquez-Oldham, director of the PCC Small Business Development Center and Global Trade Center. “We are hopeful 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.”
Clackamas Community College’s Small Business Development Center provides resources to help businesses start, grow or thrive. The SBDC provides classes and courses to help take a business to the next level, as well as confidential, one-on-one business counseling for free. Discounts are available for veterans. To learn more about CBI and SBDC visit www.clackamas.edu/cbi.
“One of the biggest things that can bring a community back together – and help pull Oregon out of any recession – is the success of small businesses,” Rob Campbell, Clackamas Community College SBDC director, said.