Local government promises more relief for Portland-area businesses
Help is on the way.
On Dec. 9, Metro and Greater Portland Inc revealed the Greater Portland Economic Recovery Plan. In a statement, the two groups said the plan "defines 47 responsive actions to support the region's individuals and businesses most impacted by the pandemic-induced recession and initiate a robust, equitable recovery." It is described as a short-term, adaptable plan for the next 3 to 24 months focusing on immediate action.
The plan aims to guide the region in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It explicitly focuses on building opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their businesses, as they have been hit hardest.
"As the devastating impacts of the pandemic came into focus last spring, our region came together to craft a plan to promote an equitable recovery," said Kimberly Branam, GPEDD chair and executive director of Prosper Portland. "This plan values removing barriers, building trust and investing strategically. I am optimistic that its implementation will build a stronger and more resilient regional economy for years to come."
The Greater Portland Economic Development District is a federally-designated economic development district, which encompasses Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington. It is a nonprofit that develops economic development strategies for Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington.
The plan identifies three target impact areas to combat recessionary forces, address fundamental inequities, and prepare the region for recovery:
Each target impact area contains several priorities, with specific recommended actions tied to each one. For example, a priority under the second target area focuses workforce interventions on low-income residents, with targeted interventions for BIPOC residents. The actions tied to this priority include creating a regional funder collaborative focused on diversifying the construction workforce and helping nursing programs access clinical training opportunities restricted due to COVID-19.
"We must act urgently to support our region through these challenges and ensure Greater Portland emerges from the pandemic best positioned for continued success," said Jason Green, GPEDD vice-chair and managing director at CBRE. "This plan's focus on action, equitable outcomes and adaptability provide our region with the strategy needed for long-term recovery and resiliency."
Some of the plan's actions include convening an Implementation Task Force to help lead organizations turn recommended actions into reality, identify lead organizations for those actions still needing one, and convening a federal policy group to align efforts and secure resources for implementation.
In a nod to the multiple programs of grants and loans in Oregon, the plan says it will identify and catalog existing and related recovery efforts already underway across the region, and identify immediate opportunities where the private sector can provide resources for proposed actions.
The plan's development was funded in part by a $400,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA), which GPEDD received in July.
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