Home Back Issues March 2010 "Economic gardening" nurtures small businesses

"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

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


Read more...

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

Downtime

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

I'm not very interesting,” says a modest Ray Di Carlo, CEO and executive producer of Bent Image Labs, an animation and visual effects studio.


Read more...

Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

Constant Contact

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

To prevent burnout, companies are banning email and after-hours communications. But is the 24-hour workday here to stay?


Read more...

Semiconductor purgatory

News
Monday, October 06, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.


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