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|Articles - April 2012|
|Thursday, March 22, 2012|
Page 2 of 3
“The city’s growth in personal income or average wage per job has not kept pace with its reputation as an innovator,” says Skip Rung, executive director of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute and a member of the economic development commission. Rung and other members said the plan endorsed by the council aims to reverse these trends by focusing on three action areas: growing and retaining startups, supporting existing employers such as CH2M HILL, and “leveraging existing assets,” by creating enterprise zones or marketing the vacancies that exist on the Hewlett-Packard campus.
Unsurprisingly, the city plan targets OSU as a key resource for spinning off research-based businesses. The university’s history of nurturing new companies dates to the 1930s, when a professor and three students started CH2M HILL, which is now headquartered in Colorado. Today the university seeks to keep local startups from decamping to other cities, says OSU vice president for research and commission member Rick Spinrad. Possible strategies include giving such companies access to university libraries and fee-based materials. The larger question, says Spinrad, “is what can the university do differently to support business?”
Another commission member, Nick Fowler, CEO of Perpetua Power Source Technologies, said the city aims to more fully exploit synergies between the university, HP and CH2M HILL. A former HP employee, Nick Fowler noted that Perpetua’s thermo electric technology is only “one or two degrees of separation” from his former employer’s inkjet technology.
As city leaders grapple with growing businesses and creating jobs, one sector has already taken off: student housing. Capitalizing on student population growth and an apartment vacancy rate of less than 1%, developers are planning at least four major off-campus student housing developments. “It’s a beneficial time for building units,” says Tom Gerding, a contractor who is building one of those projects: 7th Street Station, an 82-unit complex with 308 bedrooms. Gerding also is working on two affordable housing projects.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the city’s housing boom. “It feels as if Corvallis is under siege from housing developers who say, ‘Ooh, we can build student housing there,’” says Louise Marquering, one of many Corvallis residents who have organized to protest parking, congestion and other problems stemming from OSU’s growth. The university, says Marquering, needs to have its own plan to house students instead of relying on private developers.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Community college career, technical and workforce programs present an opportunity to bring business and education together as never before.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BY MARK BLAINE | OB BLOGGER
The publisher of the Emerald Media Group moves on, leaving a cutting edge media group that depends on business acumen for its survival.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.
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