"Economic gardening" nurtures small businesses

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010

Economic developers are beginning to focus on growing Oregon’s small businesses by targeting those with a potential for quick growth and sharing tactical information typically sourced only by big businesses.

The strategy is called “economic gardening.” It targets small, traded-sector companies with a high potential for growth and provides resources to increase business, efficiency and sales. “The idea is to bring more wealth into the region to create jobs,” says David Beam, Newberg’s economic developer.

The Portland-Vancouver Regional Partners Council for Economic Development partnered with the Oregon Micro Enterprise Network and other Portland Metro area economic development agencies and developers to launch a pilot project in November. But Beam says it began in earnest last month, and already has attracted between five and 10 businesses in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Clark counties.

Beam says the motivation to start an economic gardening program came from the feeling among economic developers that there has been too much focus on attracting new, out-of-state businesses and not enough on supporting local businesses.

“It’s much easier to grow what we have than to get other businesses,” Beam says.

Economic gardening works by providing businesses with “key tactical information” that typically only big businesses have access to, says Rob Pochert, Beaverton’s economic development manager. The Regional Partners Council received $20,000 from the U.S. Economic Administration to purchase subscriptions to data resource tools that provide market analysis.

Beaverton has had an economic gardening program since 2007, and so far 100 companies have used the program. Pochert says 25% of those reported increased business, and 5% made capital investments.

The Portland pilot project is not a full-fledged economic gardening program. The regional council will measure success in six months by determining whether participating businesses have seen an increase in sales, profit or jobs.

Funding for a statewide program was under consideration by the Legislature during February’s special session.


AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

Comments   

 
John Stone
0 #1 Economic GardeningJohn Stone 2010-03-24 06:21:15
"Economic Gardening" by a government agency. What a laugh.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Garden Product Reviews
0 #2 A different form of gardeningGarden Product Reviews 2011-03-15 10:00:28
Like the idea of Economic Gardening but wander if Governments will floss over the idea. I hope not as small businesses supporting each other is vital especially in this economy that we find ourselves in

Kathy
www.danthegardener.com
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
BC/Tigard
0 #3 SkepticalBC/Tigard 2011-03-16 13:40:09
Exactly what kind of "key tactical information" do big businesses have access to that smaller businesses don't? Is this a mentoring program, or simply a way to spend grant money?
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Light Reading

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.


Read more...

Downtime with Debra Ringold

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University


Read more...

Car be gone

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 06, 2015
070615car2goblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Car and ride sharing services have taken urban areas by storm. Low-income and suburban communities are left at the curb.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

Business School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Training, from the mundane to the sublime, bolsters companies and workers in an uncertain world.


Read more...

Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS