Cannabis Business Development Equity Program
Based on results of a community survey and recommendations from a stakeholder Cannabis Tax Steering Committee, the City of Portland is allocating $150,000 of the cannabis tax revenues to address technical assistance needs for cannabis entrepreneurs from communities that have been disproportionately, negatively impacted by the prohibition of cannabis. The Cannabis Business Development Equity Program Request for Proposals seeks to identify one or more partners to assist Prosper Portland in delivering cannabis business technical assistance to priority populations.
From tech startups to neighborhood retail, small businesses are vital to the city’s economy. The Inclusive Business Resource Network is a citywide program that brings multiple services for small business into a single network to provide greater efficiencies and cross-functional innovation. The Network leverages the power of partnership to increase the success of underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Through focused resources, collaboration and client-centered services the Network seeks to drastically shift outcomes for business owners of color, immigrants, women founders, and other underrepresented minorities. Approximately 600 businesses are served through the Network each year, and 400 businesses – 65 percent owned by women and 75 percent owned by people of color – receive long-term support (30+ advising hours a year).
Services that integrate with the network include the Mercatus platform; a portfolio of capital programs such as micro loan products, seed funding and business loans; and legal support, accounting, and market research.