MEMO BLOG Memo Calendar Memo Pad Business Memos Loaves & Fishes Letters Home
PDC produces show at IRCO
Council approves 122nd rezoning
Columbia Christian: little school on big campus
Five-story apartment building for 102nd Avenue proposed
Recovery starts in Parkrose

About the MEMO
MEMO Archives
MEMO Advertising
MEMO Country (Map)
MEMO Web Neighbors
MEMO Staff

© 2012 Mid-county MEMO
Terms & Conditions
PDC produces show at IRCO


Portland Mayor Sam Adams, right, introduces Keynote Speaker Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley at the Portland Development Commission's Neighborhood Economic Development Summit last month.
Mid-county Memo photos/Tim Curran
After the summit, PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton samples eggrolls from Paitong Thai Cuisine courtesy its owner, Nancy Somvong, right.
Peter Cao and Jennah Lee, co-owners of Artico Lite, a neon sign company, were two of more than 200 people that attended PDC's East Portland Neighborhood Economic Development Summit 2012 held at IRCO last month.
Teri Bunker, left, a panelist at the 2012 economic summit, visits with fellow panelist Adam Zimmerman of Craft3, a non-profit community development financial institution.
As the first year of its Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy (NED) implementation ends, the Portland Development Commission convened a Neighborhood Economic Development Summit last month to assess and plan for 2013.

Organizer John Jackley, PDC Business and Social Equity Director said, “This event has drawn a critical focus to the ongoing work of the community, and the support that PDC, Multnomah County, the city and others are providing to those efforts. By bringing people together from all walks of life in east Portland, we're setting the stage for the second year of the Neighborhood Economic Development strategy.”

Held in the gymnasium at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization in east Portland, representatives from PDC's six Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative areas; community development corporations; neighborhood groups; non-profits, PDC, city of Portland and Multnomah County staff and small business owners attended.

In the morning, the summit had speakers - including Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen, Commissioner Judy Shiprack and PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton - and two panels, “Resources to Compete” and “Connecting and Collaborating”.

In the afternoon, with remarks from Portland Mayor Adams as the appetizer, a catered lunch was served followed by the entrée, a keynote speech by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley to the overflow crowd.

At the conclusion, 16 resource providers - public and private sector lenders, small business technical experts and other people adept at helping small businesses - were on hand to meet attendees.

Jackley said recommendations, ideas and suggestions from the Summit are the subject of the next NED Leadership Group meeting. Placing them in policy and operations changes, the PDC is taking what they heard at the summit to craft the second year of the NED. Jackley said they heard ways for PDC to more efficiently connect businesses with resources, how business can help themselves and what the barriers are - whether cultural or financial - to succeeding. “It's a different approach for government, but one that is going to pay off for the community,” Jackley said.

The Portland Economic Development Strategy, a five-year plan promoting job creation and economic growth, is the genesis of the more focused NED.

Adopted by council in May 2011, the NED supports existing neighborhood businesses while attracting new ones creating ways of making city resources already in place more accessible; and increasing ownership among minorities and low-proficiency English speakers in commercially depressed areas of Portland.

“This was a first for PDC, a first for the community,” said Jackley. “I think by bringing everybody together you capture the energy, the passion and the commitment to move forward and look at community driven neighborhood economic development as it plays out all across east Portland.”

Adams echoed Jackley in his remarks, “This is not your grandma's Portland Development Commission,” he said. “This is a Portland Development Commission that is working to make sure that through the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, through the changes the way urban renewal districts are created and operated. To the fact that they have part of the Portland Plan - the economic development plan - are committed to the four goals of the city like nobody else when it comes to prosperity, health, education and equity. This economic development agency, the Portland Development Commission, is leading the way with partners such as you to bring true equity to east Portland.”

Since its inception in 1958 by Portland's electorate, the PDC has come a long way in how it does business.
From an attitude of lofty omniscience exemplified in the 70s by taking 55 acres of homes and businesses through eminent domain in the African-American neighborhood of Albina to make way for Emanuel Hospital - to east Portland in 2012, where the agency fosters an intense, close collaboration with communities of color.

Peter Cao, who emigrated from Vietnam via France in 1981 and was a panelist, said PDC helped his business - he is co-owner of Artico Lite, a neon sign company on Southeast 86th Avenue and Powell Boulevard - grow and expand. “PDC help me remodeling the building and follow up recently they tried to go out and help me build a website,” he said. He added, “And the other thing is, they take in hand the minorities like us so all the things they try to help me to improve my business.”

Cao said he bought the building in 2000. PDC gave him a $20,000 grant and a $20,000 low-interest loan in 2007. “They helped us a lot,” he said.

Another panelist, Bridge City Family Medical Clinic founder Teri Bunker, a nurse practitioner, said she has been involved with PDC since 2009 when her clinic opened in Gateway on Northeast 106th Avenue near Halsey Street.

When she wanted to relocate and expand her operation inside the urban renewal area - the clinic from the Roseway neighborhood to Gateway - she got help financing $1.5 million dollars to purchase and renovate a home formerly used as office space, “PDC provided me with three different types of funding to open the clinic,” she said. Bunker employees 15, including four doctors.

Bunker said she likes her new location. “I like being able to afford a larger piece of property, I like that it is not as congested as the Hollywood area, I like the accessibility, I like the future plans.”

To find our more about NED programs and resources, call Jackley at 503-823-3315, or email him, The website is
Memo Calendar | Memo Pad | Business Memos | Loaves & Fishes | Letters | About the MEMO
MEMO Advertising | MEMO Archives | MEMO Web Neighbors | MEMO Staff | Home