March 29, 2010

The Portland Development Commission has launched a new small business assistance program that will help create jobs, with an emphasis on the clean technology industry.

The Small Contractors Loan Insurance Program (SCLIP) is a credit enhancement program offered by PDC that provides partial insurance for lines of credit offered by private lenders to independent construction contractors, particularly those specializing in energy efficiency and green development projects in the city of Portland. PDC will guarantee half of the credit line provided by a bank or lender, up to $25,000, in the first year, with the insurance percentage declining over time. Albina Community Bank is the first lender to sign on to the program.

“This new program addresses PDC’s strategic goal to help create jobs for Portland residents,” said Bruce Warner, PDC Executive Director. “We appreciate Albina Community Bank’s interest in partnering with us in our continuing effort to offer user-friendly financial products to help small businesses grow and prosper.”

The Portland Economic Development Strategy’s emphasis on growing the clean technology industry, and the city’s recently-established Clean Energy Works Portland (CWEP) program, both served as impetus for the SCLIP. Contractors had identified a gap in the small business lending market as the primary hindrance to their participation in CWEP and to sustained growth.

The new program also includes technical assistance to help contractors deal with the demands of managing multiple projects in the CWEP program.

Marshall Runkel, a partner in local service provider Green Home by EcoTech, applauded PDC’s quick recognition that small businesses need help accessing capital to carry out ambitious local and national clean energy goals. “PDC has put together an innovative financing mechanism in record time,” Runkel said. “It’s going to help dozens of small businesses like mine buy the equipment that we need to put people to work.”

Interested applicants should contact Scott Bossom at Albina Community Bank, 503-285-0224 or, for more information.