Gateway businesspeople hear about PDC programs

Find out what they learned – when the Gateway Area Business Association convened, meeting at a new location, on their new day …

Incoming Gateway Area Business Association president Lee Powell is presented with the traveling “President’s Plaque”, marking the start of his new term in office by Keystone Kops Alan and Brad Sanchez of Realty Brokers.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It was nearly a “full house” when the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) met for the first time at the Gateway Shopping Center Izzy’s Pizza Restaurant on January 12.

The meeting started off with a brief welcome by GABA’s new President, Lee Powell, of Lee Powell Farmers Insurance Agency. After self-introductions, members sat back as Powell introduced the guest speaker, Alan Stubbs – Business Finance Officer, Urban Development Department of Portland Development Commission (PDC).

Alan Stubbs, Business Finance Officer, Urban Development Department of Portland Development Commission (PDC), tells about the financial products their agency offers to small businesses.

Stubbs started out talking about the objective of PDC’s Business Finance Program. “The program is set up to leverage public funds with private resources to finance businesses – to create and retain jobs, while building wealth in the community.”

Strategic use of resources in the program focuses on:

  1. Industry Clusters – specifically, Athletic and Outdoor, Advanced Manufacturing, Clean Technology, and Software.
  2. High Growth Companies – These are traded-sector firms, characterized by robust historical sales growth.
  3. Community Economic Development – Wealth and job creation opportunities for small business owners.

“There are three categories of financial products,” Stubbs noted. “The ‘Physical Improvement Fund’ is tax increment funds for acquisition and tenant improvement; the ‘Business Development Fund’ provides working capital and equipment loans for industry clusters, and the ‘Small Business Fund’ provides working capital and equipment loans for neighborhood businesses.”

Depending upon the program, funding is provided in a range between $25,000 and $2 million, Stubbs explained. And, like a commercial loan, the borrower must meet minimum PDC credit requirements, which include credit, collateral, repayment ability, the owner’s industry experience, and his or her business management proficiency.

While these loans are now available, Stubbs says, none have been granted to Gateway businesspeople during the past year.

“At any time, there might be as much as $200,000 actually available to loan,” Stubbs informed the group of about 35 members and guests.

Asked about local lending, Stubbs acknowledged that last year, no loans were funded in the Gateway Urban Renewal Area.

Before the meeting’s end, Stubbs touched briefly on other services offered by the PDC to small business people, including commercial property redevelopment, and the better-known “Storefront Improvement Program”.

To learn more, Stubbs urged attendees to call (503) 865-4BIZ, or see their website for details: CLICK HERE to open that page.

Meet with GABA on Wednesday, February 9
Networking starts at 11:30 a.m., the meeting starts at 11:45 and ends promptly at 1:00 p.m.

Featured at this month’s meeting: Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack will share her thoughts with GABA members, and solicit their input. Also this month: Speed Networking “Promote Your Business to GABA Members. It’s a Sweetheart of a Deal”, they say.

Note that their meetings are now held on the second Wednesday of the month, and the meetings are now being held at Izzy’s Pizza, 1307 NE 102nd Avenue (in the Gateway Fred Meyer Shopping Center). For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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