Small Business Development

As part of the Port of Portland´s commitment to working with community stakeholders using fair and open decision making processes, the Port is developing a Portwide Small Business Development Program. The program is guided by our mission statement, "To increase local small business participation in Port of Portland projects and procurements through the integration of a Portwide process to develop and grow mutually beneficial business relationships with local small businesses."

Points of Focus
  • Increase access and participation of small businesses in Port business opportunities.
  • Small business development through Port Mentor Protégé Program and partners.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
The Port has an established Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for businesses that are certified as socially or economically disadvantaged in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations, 49 CFR Part 26. The Port receives federal financial assistance from the USDOT through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) primarily for airport construction projects. As a condition of that financial assistance, the Port must ensure that DBE-certified businesses have an equal opportunity to compete for and perform Port of Portland contracts. This grant assurance requires the Port to establish DBE plans for its four airports, set annual DBE participation goals for airport projects and concessions, and submit annual reports to the FAA detailing actual DBE participation. Most certified DBEs are minority- or women-owned businesses, and all DBEs must not exceed federally defined size standards.

To pursue DBE opportunities with the Port, click here to return to the business opportunities page and Register as a potential supplier.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Goal Fiscal Years 2014 - 2016
The Port of Portland has established an overall DBE goal the Portland Airport for federal fiscal years 14-16 (October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2016). The goal reflects planned contracting at the Portland International Airport that will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation and is in accordance with goal setting methodology outlined in CFR 49 Part 26.  Comments regarding, but not limited to, the following are sought:

  • DBE availability
  • Effects of discrimination on DBE opportunities
  • Port of Portland efforts to solicit DBE participation

DBE Goal Document
Airport Concessions DBE Goal
Disparity Study Executive Summary and Action Plan
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Policy Statement

Please forward comments to the Port contact listed below.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Contact Information
Kimberly Mitchell-Phillips
Small Business Development Program Manager
7200 N.E. Airport Way
Portland, OR  97218
Phone: 503.415.6587
Fax: 503.548.5541

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Partner Links

Mentor Protégé Program

To contribute to small business development in our region.

The Port of Portland's Mentor Protégé Program exists to build effective working relationships between leaders of mature, established companies and emerging minority- and women-owned companies in order for the latter to benefit from the knowledge and experience of the established firms.

Program Origins
In 1994, the Port of Portland undertook an assessment to determine why small minority- and women-owned businesses were not participating in Port projects. The following five barriers were identified:

  • Ineffective working relationships between small minority- and women-owned businesses and prime contractors.
  • Poor access to job notification.   
  • Inability to accommodate size of work.   
  • Inability to secure adequate financing.   
  • Inability to secure adequate bonding.

One solution that evolved was the Mentor Protégé Program. An advisory board was formed, mentors were recruited and, in 1995, the program´s first group of protégés was selected. The Port of Portland Mentor Protégé Program has since become a national model for several agencies, organizations and national efforts, including the Small Business Administration, Associated General Contractors, and Vice President Gore´s Business Mentoring initiative.

Application Process
Selection for the Port of Portland Mentor Protégé Program is conducted through an application process. To apply for participation, businesses must meet the following criteria:
  • Participants must be current on all taxes and applicable licenses.
  • Current business must have been in continuous operation for the last 24 months.   
  • Participants must be certified by the Oregon Office of Minority, Women & Emerging Small Businesses.   
  • Participants must be committed to following program rules, guidelines and processes so that incremental growth and business success can be achieved.

Click here to download an application for the Mentor Protégé Program.

Return completed applications using one of the methods indicated below:

Mail: Port of Portland
Mentor Protégé Program
7200 N.E. Airport Way
Portland, OR 97218
Fax: 503.548.5541

Mentor-Protégé Relationship
Once accepted, each protégé is initially paired with two mentors. Working together in monthly meetings, mentors focus on assisting protégés develop business plans, develop marketing strategies, understand financial statements, and identify and implement other action items needed to meet the protégé company goals.

Mentor-Protégé Program Partners

Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the following link to view the Small Business Development Program's frequently asked questions.

If you have questions about this program, please e-mail Kimberly Mitchell-Phillips or call 503.415.6587 or 800.547.8411.

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