Business owners and investors in the Portland area have a simple answer for anyone wondering what to do with their business: keep it in Portland.
The city has become a haven for some of the nation’s largest and most successful small businesses, with an average of $1.4 million in sales per day, according to data compiled by The Washington Times.
“I think that’s because we are a small town,” said Mark Oleson, executive director of the Portland Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber is working to expand its membership and promote local businesses.
And Olesson says the city is ready to take advantage of the trend.
“Portland is the place to be,” he said.
“We have an incredible number of small businesses.
We have a huge population.
We don’t have an unemployment rate that much lower than most other cities.”
Olesons Chamber’s business council is working with a Portland business owners association to develop guidelines and a model for how to handle the transition to the online retailing market.
“What we’ve done is get a good set of guidelines out there, get some information from them on what the business is going to look like and what they expect from the retail environment,” Olesman said.
That includes guidelines on how to use social media platforms and what sort of advertising to use.
But the Chamber’s Olessons main focus is on getting more small businesses to participate in the online economy, and to create an online presence for local businesses that attract shoppers.
In the coming months, the Chamber plans to host a series of workshops to help local business owners learn how to be successful online.
The seminars will help business owners get to know their online competitors and how to create a presence online.
But Oles and his business leaders are not taking the transition lightly.
“There are a lot of people who are very concerned and really don’t want to do it,” he acknowledged.
“They just don’t feel like it’s their thing.
We’ve got to prove to them that it’s a business decision.”