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

Startup or Grow Up?

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL

Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?


Read more...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


Read more...

Molecular Movies

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Dr. Chong Fang isn’t God. But the assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University is getting closer to figuring out how he put everything together. 


Read more...

Podcast: Turn Things Around with David Marquet

Contributed Blogs
Friday, October 17, 2014
davidmarquet thumbBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.


Read more...

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


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