Success Stories

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.


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Wanda Williford and her U.S. Air Force veteran husband John Williford knew that starting a business after a career in the military would pose unique challenges when they made the decision to start Native American Technology Corporation (NATECH) in 1995. Headquartered in North Bend on the Oregon Coast, the family-owned company provides professional and technical staffing services to federal aerospace and defense sectors. They quickly realized that military experience alone would not be enough to insure their success and realized they could use some help in building their new business.


They turned to the SBA for help accessing the government marketplace in order to compete for federal contracts. Through the support of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), the SBA HUBZone Certification Program and the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, NATECH was able to win multiple federal contracts which resulted in nearly doubling its revenue within... Read More

Growing a Business from Bean to Cup in Oregon

Having spent years in specialty coffee, Matt Higgins dreamed of starting his own company, where he could roast and prepare coffees that would be exciting for professional baristas and inviting to everyday coffee drinkers.  In 2008, the veteran barista and roaster started Coava Coffee in his garage and bootstrapped the company by repairing motorcycles. Higgins knew that in order to accomplish this goal, he would need to source exceptional “coava” or green coffee beans as the foundation of his company and dream. Higgins not only needed to source exceptional coffee beans to fuel his new business but also the capital to grow it.


With the help of the SBA 7(a) Loan Program, Higgins was able to finance a new coffee roaster and fund much needed improvements to his retail locations. In 2015 and 2016, Higgins secured the financing through the SBA 504 Certified Development Company Loan Program to help fund... Read More


Building on a Legacy of Discovery Leads to Success on Oregon’s Coast

Overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon is the Astoria Crest Motel, where in 1805, Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery took in the very same majestic view as they journeyed to their future winter camp in nearby Fort Clatsop. Originally known as the Crest Motel when it first opened its doors in 1952, the property had gradually fallen into a state of disrepair and was at risk of being shuttered in 2014. Air Force veteran and entrepreneur Marshall Doyle and his wife Patricia, along with business partner Don West and his wife Wendy, saw this as an opportunity to save a local treasure and strengthen the community. They knew in order to turn their dream into a reality they needed access to capital to purchase the property.


Working with a local lender, they were able to structure a loan that incorporated an SBA 504 loan through Evergreen Business Capital... Read More