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Success Stories

Building on a Family Tradition in the Pacific Northwest

Growing up with a contractor for a father and being one of six brothers and sisters as part of his “crew,” the constructing business came naturally for Brenda Fairbanks who started Daybreak Construction in 2000. After nearly 10 years of doing smaller residential and commercial projects, Fairbanks was ready to expand her business and explore the opportunities of entering the federal contracting marketplace. As she was preparing to take the next step, tragedy struck as she was involved in a serious car accident leaving her unable to walk for nearly a year.


As Fairbanks was recovering, she learned that she was accepted into the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, a nine-year government contracting certification to provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities. With the help of an SBA backed loan, Fairbanks was able to... Read More

Paying It Forward and Making a Global Impact in Oregon

Donating a fleece blanket to a homeless shelter near the customer for every blanket the company sells is the business model Sackcloth & Ashes co-founder Bob Dalton has used since producing his first blanket in Monmouth, Oregon in June 2014. He was inspired to start the company when he learned his hardworking single mother had found herself living on the streets in 2013 in Florida, and as a way to make a difference, he learned what homeless shelters needed most - blankets. Dalton’s talents of marketing the one-for-one business model to retailers and co-founder Jordan Tardie’s operational management skills, helped propel the brand’s popularity across the country, but they needed access to capital to help them take their message to the global marketplace.


In 2019, Co-owner and Chief Financial Officer Samuel Campbell, with Tardie and Dalton, approached the West Salem Branch of Columbia... Read More

Making Movement Matter in Oregon

Shortly after earning his doctorate in physical therapy and a Master in Healthcare Administration, 25-year-old Bryan Lang never thought he would pursue his passion for helping others outside a traditional healthcare network. That changed when an opportunity to purchase a clinic from a retiring physical therapist was presented to him. With the help of co-founders Justine Cosman and his sister Kara Schuft, both physical therapists, Whole Body Health and Physical Therapy opened its doors in northwest Portland in 2014. The clinic’s patient-centered approach to treating simple strains, sprains, post-operative surgical repairs, and chronic pain soon made it very popular with the local community and the new owners realized they could use some help managing their growing practice.


They turned to the local Portland SCORE chapter for business counseling assistance. Through a series of monthly meetings, SCORE mentor Kaye... Read More

For the precision machining industry, having access to a skilled workforce has been a challenge across the United States. For Alvin R. Elbert, president of A.R.E. Manufacturing, Inc., this was a problem he wanted to help solve. Elbert knew that if he wanted to make an impact, he needed to make sure that his family-owned business, founded in 1980, was poised for future growth.


Elbert turned to the Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) SCALE Oregon program to help reassess his strategic goals for the company as he was considering branching out to a new market. The SCALE Oregon program focuses on assisting traded-sector businesses pursue new markets or improve operational efficiencies. The program helped Elbert conduct an in-depth market
analysis helping him to recognize that his customer relationships were a source of strength and chose to deepen those existing relationships rather than branching into a new market.


What... Read More