Small Companies get savvy advice from local experts

Wendy Edwards
Vice President of Marketing & Human Resources

Claudia Johnson
Claudia Johnson Strategic Communications

Misti Rooney
Community Relations Officer
Claudia Johnson
Strategic Communications

Advantis Credit Union and the Oregon Small Business Development Center are united in their interest to help small businesses become vital, thriving companies within their local communities—as they see it, a win-win situation. When neighborhood companies prosper, so in turn do the surrounding economies. To create an atmosphere that fosters that kind of development, Advantis and the OSBDC are presenting a series of six free educational seminars geared to help small businesses prosper.

The series of seminars begin October 12 and will cover topics ranging from how to hone company vision and accentuate branding to how to handle sensitive human resource issues.  Discussion topics will also focus on how much to charge for services, the best type of advertising for business, and how to create a compelling online presence.  Each seminar will leave its attendees with invaluable guidance and tools to help them rev up their businesses.

Business leaders are invited to register for one or all of the seminars—each are free of charge. Register online at or call 503-785-2528. The seminars will be held once a month, over a course of six months at 6:00 pm at the Advantis Fremont Branch, 3515 NE 15th Avenue in Portland. Classes are expected to fill fast and with only 20 spots available per class, early registration is encouraged.

The Small Business Education Series includes six different classes all taught by business professionals from the OSBDC.  They include:

  • How to ask for what you’re worth: Learn how to get paid for what you’re worth—not what you think the client will pay. Taught by Jackie B. Peterson, a SBDC serial entrepreneur, business coach and instructor/advisor. Wednesday, October 12.
  • Branding: Why should I choose you? Build on your company’s personality and make it work for you through advertising. Bridget Benton, an entrepreneur for the past 20 years with a Masters in Creativity will lead the seminar. Wednesday, November 9.
  • The power of visual merchandising: How to use visual marketing to your advantage. Linda Cahan, internationally known visual merchandising expert draws from her 40 years of experience to teach the class. Wednesday, December 14.
  • E-Tailing: the importance of an online presence:  The importance of e-commerce and how to get your online presence up and running is discussed. Sarah Shaoul, owner of Black Wagon children’s boutique, shares her knowledge of marketing technology. Wednesday, January 11.
  • Common human resource mistakes of small business owners: Guests learn how to protect their businesses from everyday HR mistakes. Jill Critchfield is a professional Human Resources Consultant and imparts her business acumen. Wednesday, February 1.
  • Business planning basics: Learn the value of business plans and other critical foundations used for business success. A successful business owner herself, Jo-el Hibian has worked with over 350 clients and shares her vast experience during the seminar. Wednesday, March 14.

According to a study published in 2007 by the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small firm startups have a larger impact than any other factor examined on gross state product (GSP), state personal income (SPI), and total state employment.  If small business startups are positive, then findings suggest that economic growth will be faster.  The study concluded that state efforts to promote small business formation are more fruitful for generating economic growth than virtually any other policy option. 

Advantis Credit Union and the Oregon Small Business Development Center are investing in their small business seminars as a means to support local small establishments and encourage their growth. The seminars promise to arm the owners with the tools they need to super-charge their company to the benefit of those within the company and the economics of the community at large.

The Oregon Small Business Development Center is dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs realize their dream of starting, owning and growing their business.

About Advantis

Advantis Credit Union, with over $815 million in assets, is one of Oregon’s largest member-owned not-for-profit, financial cooperatives with over 43,000 members and five branches in the Portland metro area. Advantis is one of the oldest credit unions in Oregon, serving the Portland metro area for over 83 years. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works or is a member of an organization in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Lane, Linn, and Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, or Yamhill counties in Oregon and anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the state of Washington.


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