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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
Page 1 of 2
By Dan Cook
As the state’s economic malaise continues to suck the life out of industry after industry, one sector has withstood the worst of the blows. Food processing in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest as a whole has grown over the last few years, according to industry statistics. The state’s estimated $12 billion food processing industry has its giants — Reser’s, NORPAC and Truitt Brothers — but its true strength lies in its small businesses.
In a once-vacant building in a formerly bankrupt business park in Salem, all of the strengths of this resilient industry are on display in a collaborative commercial venture featuring two small businesses, one visionary developer and a flexible city government.
The facility, located just off Interstate 5 in South Salem, was part of the Sunwest Corp. real estate meltdown. Today, it’s owned by Wildwood/Mahonia, a below-the-radar diversified group that has been quietly carving out space for itself in the sustainability marketplace. Wildwood purchased out of bankruptcy the building and the surrounding acreage in 2010.
Wildwood partners John Miller and Travis Henry saw an opportunity to do something creative that would not only contribute to their own bottom line, but to the environment and the economy as well. They would create a business incubator with small-business tenants who shared their sustainability values. As the tenants prospered, so would the developer, went their version of the vision. They were targeting food processors because of the resiliency of the sector. “We love ag,” says Henry.
Here’s how the deal was accomplished, according to Henry: The Wildwood partners knew the 14,000-square-foot facility was in a City of Salem Urban Renewal District. They found out there was still $1.4 million in the district’s development account after the city had completed its last project in the district. “We suggested they use it to create a loan program focused on supporting small businesses,” Henry says. The city was willing.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Oregon's population is booming, and so are rental costs.
Monday, September 28, 2015
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Live, Work Play with the President and CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association.
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Renee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.
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How Portland's Garden Bar plans to become the Starbucks of salad.
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Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?
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VIDEO BY JESSE LARSON
Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.
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Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.
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