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The businesspeople of Foster Road lean about demographics -- and how they can help

DAVID F. ASHTON - Before the PowerPoint presentation began, Venture Portland Business District Organizer Dane Fredericks welcomed members to the meeting. The atmosphere was casual, as members of the Foster Area Business Association (FABA) met for or a "business mixer" at the FoPo Tavern on S.E. Foster Road on Tuesday evening, May 15.

But, a presentation of demographics – shown by FABA's Venture Portland Business District Organizer, Dane Fredericks – caught the attention of those who attended.

Fredericks created the presentation, entitled "State of Foster", based on data obtained by Tyler Bump and Tony Lamb from the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability.

The pinpoint demographic study showed that there were 228 businesses in the neighborhood business district, providing 1,668 jobs. By far, the largest type of business there is retail – followed by food and drink, education and medical, and then production, distribution, and repair.

Those on hand learned that, from 2007 to 2016, there was a 37% increase in businesses along Foster Road, leading to a 25% increase in employment.

Other data points included a gain in the average per-capita income of local residents, and in Median Household Income as well. And, looking at housing trends, it showed a marked increase of new housing units starting in 2011.

About the presented information, FABA President Allen Rowand commented, "Knowing your customer base is really important, especially because our area is going through numerous changes – especially regarding housing costs, and economic and demographic changes."

Rowand added, "This information will also help us gauge the disposable income of our residents, and will show how we can help better target our messaging for both retail stores and services."

Find out more about the Foster Area Business Association by visiting their website – www.fosterarea.com

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