The group of more than a dozen small business owners and elected officials conversed and shared concerns well into the evening Wednesday.
Last night, Seahorses PDX, known for their eye for the modern dad and the coolest children’s products in town, played host to
more than a dozen small business owners and City Councilmember Steve Novick. The group discussed shared concerns about new developments and rising rent, among other issues.
Portland’s small business community is concerned that they are being left out of the conversation as the city approves new development projects. For example, large-scale housing projects are slated without consideration for the impact on neighboring small businesses. Issues such as parking, visibility, and access to their business are primary concerns amidst a period of rapid real estate development.
That rapid growth and demand for real estate are also driving small business owners out of locations they’ve held for years. Small businesses sit at the heart of their communities, and they are responsible for the charm and growth that has made their community desirable to developers and tenants. Rising costs threaten the viability of the walking shopping districts that make their neighborhoods the place to be.
The group also discuss access to capital, for all small businesses, but specifically for shops with ten employees or less. Small and micro-businesses experience unique struggles when securing funds for growth and expansion.
Oregon member Andy Diaz, the owner of Blackbird Wine Shop and Atomic Cheese generously provided food and refreshments for the event. Between the great wine and an even better conversation, the group discussed the issues facing them well beyond the scheduled end time for the event.
Events of this nature are regularly organized throughout Oregon and get to the heart of the issues impacting small business owners statewide. Often connecting them to lawmakers that can put their ideas to action.