There was a great write-up today in the Oregonian about the Oregon IDA (Individual Development Account) program. Mercy Corps Northwest administers IDA accounts, and has served over 500 participants to date. Our clients use their matched savings accounts to invest in their business and grow long-term income.
(excerpted below, click here for full article)
IDAs help teach Oregonians good savings habits
Paula Barreto keeps an old wine jug in her bedroom where she plunks loose change.
Rajdeep Kaur swore off Starbucks and buys nearly all her nursing-school texts used.
Louie Chavez is dreaming big. The part-time cook and full-time nutrition-sciences student is mulling launching his own food cart.
They are among more than 1,600 Oregonians who’ve learned better savings habits by completing the Oregon Individual Development Account program. The 9-year-old initiative, supported mostly by state tax credits, helps lower-income individuals build savings to buy a home, go to college, or start or expand a small business.
It’s part of a nationwide effort to foster wealth by developing savings acumen and greater assets. Studies nationally suggest participants in the program are less likely to get into bad mortgages or lose their homes to foreclosure, though it’s not clear whether the good habits are long lasting…
Participants must meet income limits — generally speaking, no more than 80 percent of their local median household income. In the Portland area, that’s less than $40,000 for a single person and less than $57,000 for a family of four. Their net worth — total value of assets owned minus all owed debt — can’t exceed $20,000, though their home’s value and one vehicle aren’t counted.
Neighborhood Partnerships distributes the money to seven “fiduciary” nonprofits, including CASA of Oregon, Mercy Corps [Northwest] and the Portland Housing Center. They oversee the money and make accounts available through dozens of organizations statewide…
Name: Bradley Delay
Business: Delay Tattooing at Historic Tattoo
Involved in: IDA Program, Foundations Class
What inspired you to get started tattooing?
I wanted to work in trade that utilizes my artistic skills.
What stage are you at in the process?
I am currently tattooing full time.
What’s been a recent success for you?
I just tattooed a b****n raccoon on a tattooer from the Tri-Cities in Washington.
What are you working on improving?
I am constantly striving to improve every aspect of the trade.
What are you looking forward to?
I look forward to taking on more tattoos and completing a set of 10 hand built tattoo machines.
How can folks contact you about getting their next tattoo?
By phone at 503-957-5389
At the shop at 503-236-3440
By email at bradleyjasondelay [at] gmail [dot] com
Check out more of Bradley’s work at http://www.delayart.com/
By Susan Rich
Fiona McLaughlin and Aisha Madrone had a dream: provide affordable, high-quality, alternative healthcare to the Portland community…at a price that everyone can afford. Like most dreams-come-true, this one had a few twists and turns along the way.
Three years ago McLaughlin and Madrone launched Seven Star Acupuncture and Apothecary, a clinic focused on the benefits of Chinese herbal medicine. Their services include private and group acupuncture treatments as well as licensed massage therapy, chiropractic care and an onsite herbal dispensary.
“We wanted to provide acupuncture that literally everyone can afford,” said McLaughlin. “People need regular health care to prevent future illness.”
The partners signed a lease on a 2,000-square-foot space at 436 SE 12th Ave. Construction began, then stalled for lack of money. “The renovation cost more than we expected,” McLaughlin said. Banks, sliding into deep freeze mode, refused to loan money.
Then a friend suggested Mercy Corps Northwest. McLaughlin and Madrone applied for, and received, a $13,000 loan.
By Amber Revoir
A Mercy Corps Northwest intern sat down with Annie Maribona, co-owner with Carlee Smith of the downtown Portland boutique Fat Fancy to learn the secrets of their success. As it turns out, a little boost went a long way.
MCNW: How did you find us? And which of our programs did you use?
AM: MCNW was recommended to us by a friend. It has been hugely helpful. We enrolled in the matched savings account program and have attended several of the classes offered. We don’t know where we would be without Mercy Corps Northwest – thank you!
MCNW: Can you tell me a little about what you do? How did you start Fat Fancy?
AM: I had the dream to start Fat Fancy for quite some time. I started it out of necessity. I needed [a store like] Fat Fancy, so I knew there must be other people out there who needed one, too. I started it the only way I could at the time – at home.
The first sale was in my studio apartment. I moved my furniture out, set up clothing racks, turned my walk-in closet into a dressing room, and advertised primarily via the Internet. The first sale was a huge success. People came from as far as 300 miles away to shop, and it was a great time.
From there, I set up shop in a friend’s basement in NE Portland. My business partner Carlee Smith came on the scene shortly after. Together we are a great team. Fat Fancy held monthly sales since December 2007 to raise money to open a permanent retail space. The community has been so supportive of us, attending fundraisers and helping us win a small business grant from Intuit. We have been featured in local, national, and international press and garnered support from underground plus-size celebrities. We opened a dreamy retail storefront in downtown Portland in December of 2009! Come check us out on SW Morrison St., between 10th and 11th avenues.