Biz Buzz


Julie Allen has a new title to add to her resume. In addition being the owner of Mary Rose NW Boutique, a sustainable clothing shop in downtown Oregon City, and the founder of Mary Rose Foundation, Allen recently held an event celebrating the launch of her book, “The Courage to Hope”.

The book is first and foremost a memoir of how Allen overcame a 15-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive and self-injury

behaviors, while also dealing with the trauma of sexual assault.

But it also contains a self-help component through Allen’s advice to help readers take steps to overcome their life challenges.

“Our past does not define who we are, nor are we bound to it,” Allen says. “We are gifted with the possibility of taking what has happened to us and sharing it, so others may have hope. My hope for the audience who reads my story of my own difficult journey and the lessons I learned along the way, is that it will help them recognize that they, too, have a story to share and that sharing it matters. Ultimately, I hope they see that they matter.”

Each chapter of “The Courage to Hope” begins with an excerpt from a journal Allen kept in the midst of her struggles. The journal entry is then followed by a written snapshot of what was happening in her life at the time paired with tangible pieces of advice. The focus centers on the steps that brought Allen out of the dark place she was in to where she is today. Photography is interwoven throughout the book to visually capture the raw feelings Allen experienced not only during the midst of her hardships, but also while writing them down.

In a cover story in the fall 2021 issue of Opportunity Magazine, Allen shared how societal and advertising messages about body image create unrealistic expectations for women. Her own experiences with finding ways to accept and love her body led her to open Mary Rose NW Boutique, a size-inclusive clothing store with an emphasis on ethically and sustainability sourced items. Allen also started Mary Rose Foundation, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to help people pay for treatment for eating disorders and offers prevention education. In addition, she’s preparing this coming spring to launch her own size inclusive, ethically made clothing line called Hope Continues.

Allen’s book is available for purchase on the Mary Rose NW Boutique website at Photo Credit: Julie Allen


As small restaurants struggle to regain their footing from the ongoing economic impacts of natural disasters, DoorDash and Hello Alice have created the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund to provide a total of $1 million in financial support.

The fund has grants of up to $10,000 available for small restaurants that have been affected by hurricanes, floods, fires and other natural disasters. In order to qualify, a restaurant must have a brick-and-mortar presence in the U.S., with three or fewer locations and fewer than 50 employees per location. Restaurants also must have been open for at least six months and have $3 million or less in revenue at each of its location.

Grants can be used to cover operating costs following a state or federally declared natural disaster, including rent or mortgage payments, food and beverage inventory, utilities, supplies and materials, and supplier costs. Restaurants do not need to be on the DoorDash platform to be eligible.

Applications are reviewed and grants awarded very three months. To learn more and access an application, visit the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund website at


If you can spare seven minutes to fill out an application, your small business could end up with $15,000.

That’s how long Invoice2go, an online billing company, estimates it will take to fill out an online application in a new company that aims to recognize the contributions and potential of under-represented small businesses and companies.

In addition to providing a photo, applicants will need to explain in 200 words or less what their business does and how the money would be used to support both the business and its community.

Applicants must be an owner of the business, and must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. legal citizen.

In addition, businesses must have at least 51% ownership by U.S. citizens who identify as Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Latino, Native American or Alaska Native, Arab or Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, or as a person with a disability. The business also must have less than $1. million in annual revenue and 10 or fewer employees.

In addition to the $15,000 prize, the winning small business will have its entry highlighted by Inovice2go. For more information and to access the application, visit the invoice2go website at


Hello Alice has declared 2022 the year of small business. In an effort to kick off the mandate in style, the free online community, which offers resources and programs to help small businesses grow, will award $5,000 grants from its Hello Alice Small Business Growth Fund.

In addition to funding, the kick-off will offer virtual events for entrepreneurs and business advocated an offer professional guidance about how to build a strategic business plan in 2022.

The Foundation was started by WomensNet to honor the memory of Amber Wigdhal, an aspiring entrepreneur who died at the age of 19 before realizing the full extent of her dream to run her own business.

The online application is short and should require just a few minutes to fill out, according to WomensNet. The organization emphasizes it is not looking for long or complicated answers. Instead, the ideal grant candidate will combine passion and business smarts with an ability to talk from the heart about their business or business idea. Winners have ranged from scientific inventors to bakers.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with monthly winners receiving $10,000. At the end of each year, an overall winner will receive an additional $25,000 grant. For more information and to access an online application, visit the Hello Alice website at