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|Articles - June 2010|
|Thursday, May 27, 2010|
GRESHAM Like most cities around the state, Gresham has been hard hit by the commercial real estate crash. Its downtown core is dotted with vacant storefronts, left behind by businesses that failed or moved out of town. But unlike most cities, Gresham decided one way to bring business back to its downtown was to waive all development-related fees as well as first-year license fees.
“Businesses are having a hard time getting over the hurdle of not being able to borrow,” says local businessman Dwight Unti.
Unti is president of Tokola Properties, the developer of 3rd Central, a mixed-use property at NW Third Street and Miller Avenue. Unti also is co-owner of Lillian’s Natural Marketplace, the first business to take advantage of the fee holiday. The market will open in July in 3rd Central’s ground-floor retail space. Unti estimates the fee waivers saved him $20,000.
“Relief on the front end really matters,” says Unti. “In this economy it has been a demoralizing barrier when you add it to the lack of lending.” When the city reduced the front-end costs, “it was exactly what was needed to make the difference.”
Two other businesses — Bella Cupcake and non-commercial radio station KZME — also have taken advantage of the program and will open at 3rd Central this summer. City officials say an insurance company and an ice cream shop also are interested in the program, which runs through March 31, 2011. Community development director Eric Schmidt estimates about 30-40 businesses could benefit from the program, saving about $150,000 collectively in fees.
The city has long wanted a locally owned grocery downtown so residents don’t have to travel out of town to shop. Market operator and co-owner Lillian Negron says about 12 to 15 full- and part-time jobs will be created at the market. She sees fee relief as crucial to getting small businesses off the ground: “It’s an opportunity to bring your business back to Gresham.”
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Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
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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.
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Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.
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The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.
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BY ERIC FRUITS
Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
BY OB STAFF
Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.
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.
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