May 1-6 marked National Small Business Week, and Prosper Portland took the opportunity to highlight local small businesses and our stellar partners working with us to create jobs, advance shared prosperity, and build a more equitable economy.

Featured businesses included EQC Home Care, a family-owned agency providing cost effective, family-focused care for individuals requiring end-of-life support services; EQC has received rent assistance through the Our 42nd Street Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative District, and technical assistance and MarketLink reports through Prosper Portland’s partnership with MESO.

Also highlighted was Form 3D Foundry, a full-service sculpting and 3D printing studio we’re working with to match the company with the right program for expansion, whether EDA loan, E-Zone, or help from partner Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Our inclusive entrepreneurship work has involved Versi, an app created to connect the growing Latino community with local businesses, community organizations, resources, events. At the same time it serves a B2B function, closing the digital divide between technology and minority-owned businesses by providing them with a platform to help them effectively promote and grow their business and retain clients. The company is actively acquiring new clients in business, nonprofit and government and expects to add between 9 and 15 employees in the next few years.

Prosperity Investment Program client HongAnh Thi Nguyen is a Vietnamese immigrant whose family moved here in 1992 in search of a better life. Anh, who is a trauma nurse at Kaiser, purchased a building at 5913 SE 82nd Ave with her spouse, using their retirement savings, and they are renovating it to create a deli specializing in cha lau, a Vietnamese pork loaf that isn’t available elsewhere in Portland.  She hopes to cater to the Vietnamese community and restaurants and provide a business for her family to operate while she continues to work at Kaiser. Prosper Portland provided a $50K PIP grant to assist with the construction of the deli. While each family member has their own career outside of cooking, they want to open a family-owned deli to share not only their culture and food to others, but also to connect and be connected to the people in the community.

We wrapped up the week by focusing on the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and Main Street Network, which supports community economic development at the neighborhood scale…and that means small business! The St Johns Center for Opportunity has championed two up-and-coming businesses, Susy’s Carniceria, a convenience store for the Latino community, and MamaSan Soul Shack, serving delicious New American style street food. Both are thriving contributors to the neighborhood scene.