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

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


Read more...

Spring thaw

News
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Spring ThawBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

The “polar vortex” of 2014 seems to have finally thawed and we believe this change in weather will bring more sunshine to the U.S. economy as well.


Read more...

100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Monday, March 03, 2014

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 11.26.47 AM

Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.


Read more...

Powerlist: Meeting perspectives

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum. 


Read more...

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

Why I became an educator

News
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
03.04.14 thumbnail teachBY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?


Read more...

From the Editor: The human factor

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In this issue, we celebrate our 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project.


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