Portland Small Businesses Head to Nation’s Capitol to Tackle Top Issues Facing Small Employers at Small Business Leadership Summit

For immediate release: May 1, 2015

Kelsey Bye | Media and Communications Associate
(503) 303-1477 | [email protected]

Five Portland businesses selected to be among 100 small business leaders from across the country to attend Small Business Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. to discuss most pressing issues facing small businesses; opportunity to talk with elected officials and members of the Obama Administration about policies to bolster small business.

Portland, Ore.—Portland’s Betty Jean Couture, Lara Media Services LLC, AVITA & Associates, Paloma Clothing, and Synergy Consulting, Inc., will be among 100 small businesses attending this year’s Small Business Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. from May 11-13, 2015. The Summit, hosted by small business advocacy organization Small Business Majority, will provide a unique opportunity for these small business owners to interact with key policymakers, including SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), senior members of the Obama Administration and issue experts to identify policy recommendations to help move the needle on important small business issues.

“Being chosen as one of the 100 small business owners to attend this year’s Summit allows me a unique opportunity to discuss important issues facing my small business and other entrepreneurs today,” said Victoria Lara, CEO of Lara Media Services LLC. “Voicing our needs and concerns directly to policymakers and other experts is a critical step in getting Washington to pay attention to the small business community. I am honored to attend this year’s Summit and will proudly bring Oregon’s small business concerns to the table to advocate on behalf of our hardworking entrepreneurs and innovators.”

With its theme “Shaping the Future of the American Economy,” the Summit will feature panel discussions, keynote speeches, interactive workshops and presentations by industry experts and successful entrepreneurs. A private evening reception hosted by Google at its Washington, D.C. headquarters will feature presentations of the “2015 Small Business Leadership Awards.” The Summit concludes with a half-day visit to the White House during which small business owners will have an opportunity to engage directly with senior members of the Obama Administration. The day will be capped off with a technology training program at Google.

Following the Summit, policy recommendations identified will be incorporated into Small Business Majority’s policy platform—the Small Business Economic Agenda for 2015-16—and will be shared with decision makers to elevate issues of importance to small business owners.

“This Summit will allow small business owners to engage directly with policymakers in D.C. to discuss the issues shaping our economy and identify pragmatic policy recommendations to help them thrive,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “We’ll hear from real entrepreneurs—from all walks of life and all areas of the country—about the issues affecting their business and their bottom lines, and work with policymakers to advance legislation that will bolster small business and remove their barriers to success.”

The Summit will focus on topline issues of importance to small business, including but not limited to:

  • Access to capital and how to ensure small businesses obtain capital necessary to grow and strengthen their firms in a responsible and sustainable manner
  • Tax policy to spur small business/economic growth while leveling the playing field and ensuring fairness
  • Critical workforce issues impacting small businesses today such as healthcare, minimum wage family medical leave and retirement savings
  • Technology and how small businesses can adopt and learn new solutions to old challenges
  • The impact of freelancers on the economy and how the U.S. can update policies that address the needs of this new workforce

Portland representatives attending the Small Business Leadership Summit include:

  • Kenneth Doswell, owner of Betty Jean Couture
  • Victoria Lara, CEO of Lara Media Services LLC
  • Kedma Ough, business director of AVITA & Associates
  • Mike Roach, co-owner of Paloma Clothing
  • Christine Chin Ryan, president of Synergy Consulting, Inc.

For more information about the Summit, please visit: www.sbmleadershipsummit.com

For media interviews with Small Business Majority please contact Kelsey Bye at (503) 303-1477 or [email protected].


Betty Jean Couture

Betty Jean Couture is a full service design house that delivers fashion apparel to women of ALL sizes. Our goal is to change the high fashion paradigm to include women of all sizes and cultures. We believe a fully figured woman is equally fashionable as her size 2 counter part. We intend to demonstrate that through developing designs that are both flattering and comfortable. Betty Jean Couture strives to become the foremost leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of fine women apparel for sizes 4 to 3X.

Lara Media Services LLC

Lara Media Services is a culturally responsive agency that provides full-service marketing through consulting, creative, and research strategies to the public and private sectors. With a mission to maximize positive and effective outcomes for organizations, Lara Media makes this possible with a strong partnership with the Latino market. Lara Media consists of a staff of bilingual and bicultural individuals united towards one goal – to strengthen and raise our diverse community through collaboration. Founded by Victoria Lara in 2000, Lara Media Services is the most recognized Hispanic agency in the Pacific Northwest in which equity, diversity, and inclusion is a common denominator in all they do.

AVITA & Associates

We are a women-owned business firm that has dedicated our mission to serving the interests of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. We provide women, minorities, and persons with disabilities with the tools to build thriving businesses. We treat each business like a unique fingerprint tailoring our services to the specific situation. We are out-of-the box thinkers and as long as its legal nothing is off the table for discussion.

Paloma Clothing

Paloma Clothing is a locally owned women’s boutique in Portland, OR specializing in natural fibers and clothing for travel, work, and play! Whether you are searching for a dress to wear to a special occasion or need casual USA clothing that you can easily pack in your suitcase when you travel, we’ve got it all. You can rest assured we go out of our way to provide excellent customer service, so come visit our boutique to browse our selection of socially responsible clothing!

Synergy Consulting, Inc.

Innovative products and services across the entire software development life cycle in the Energy sector with emphasis on Conservation and Energy Efficiency. Clients include Bonneville Power Administration and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.