Small Business Support

Monthly Biz Mobs


What is a Biz Mob? It's a large gathering of community members coming together to support our local businesses. 

SJCO's Business Resource Team works to schedule regular Biz Mobs throughout the neighborhood. We often involve 2-3 small businesses in each Biz Mob, so that we can spread the love. Below is information on what's expected of any business who is interested in hosting a Biz Mob.  

Host Business Expectations: 

  • Commit to staying open during Biz Mob hours. We work with you to select the best day and time. 
  • Help advertise the event. Put flyers in your business and post on social media. 
  • Offer some sort of discount or special promotion during the event. 

What SJCO will provide: 

  • Logistical support and overall event coordination. 
  • Marketing materials! 
  • Light snacks for your business. Think crackers and cheese type of snacks! 
  • Lots of outreach to the community! 
  • Live music 

Interested in hosting a Biz Mob? Email us at


Matching Storefront Grants 

Our grant program awards businesses with matching funds for storefront improvement projects. Applicants may request funds between $250 and $5,000. Since 2014, we have invested over $95,000 in commercial properties in the downtown business district. 

Business Technical Assistance 

As a part of Prosper Portland's Small and Microenterprise Business Development Program, MESO (Microenterprise Services of Oregon) has teamed up with us to provide high quality technical assistance and training to business owners in St. Johns.  A staff member from their team is regularly available to meet with new and emerging business owners at the Center for Opportunity. 

BL logotype CMYK.jpg

Social Media marketing Assistance

Bizzy Lizzie has teamed up with us to provide high quality social media marketing assistance and training to business owners in St. Johns.  Liz Smith, owner of Bizzy Lizzie, will be hosting regular office hours at the St. Johns Center for Opportunity to meet with new and emerging business owners.

Little Boxes Enrollment Stipend 

Every year on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the team at Little Boxes puts together an amazing event to encourage Portland shoppers to buy small and local. 

What is Little Boxes? Little Boxes® is a city-wide shopping event and prize raffle on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. For the two days after Thanksgiving, welcome in the holiday season by discovering the quality and variety of Portland’s indie and local shopping scene, unlock 10% off*, and enter to win a travel package, an iPad, shopping sprees, hotel packages, restaurant gift certificates and TONS more goodies!

To encourage St. Johns retail shops to participate, we offer at $50 stipend to those businesses who sign up! We partner directly with Little Boxes to receive a list of enrolled shops. 

Connecting Businesses to Open Space

Our team monitors commercial space in St. Johns and maintains a list of open spaces. We work closely with business owners looking to identify space in St. Johns by connecting them to our list of vacancies and/or introducing them to property owners. Want to chat with one of our team members? Fill out our form by clicking here