What Role Do Small Businesses Play in Portland’s Economy?

Portland, Oregon

The Portland Metro Chamber has released its State of Small Business Report. Funded by Comcast, this is the first report of its kind to examine entrepreneurial growth patterns in Portland and Multnomah County post-pandemic. The report, conducted by ECONorthwest, also identifies small business contributions to the region’s overall economy, acknowledges challenges owners continue to face in these uncertain times, and identifies potential solutions to support small businesses in the future.

Key findings from the report include:

  • 35.1% – percent of all workers employed by small businesses in Multnomah County, 28% in Portland metro.
  • 94% – percent of all establishments in Multnomah County are small businesses.
  • 41% – percent of small businesses owned by women in Portland metro, 5% higher than national average.
  • 16% – percent of minority-owned small businesses in Portland metro, 6% below national average.
  • $64,885 – average annual wage of workers employed by small businesses in Multnomah County.

This report comes on the heels of Comcast RISE, a program that awarded 100 small businesses in Multnomah County with grant packages to help support their businesses and uplift the local community. Comcast RISE stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment. It was created in November 2020 to help small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19, from bakeries and barber shops to childcare centers and cleaning services, by providing the grants needed to survive and recover. The program has evolved from helping businesses survive the pandemic to helping businesses and their communities achieve stronger economic growth.

“Comcast is dedicated to supporting the small business community in Portland,” said Marion Haynes, Vice President of External Affairs for Comcast’s Pacific Northwest region. “Recently, we awarded 100 small businesses in Multnomah County with grants, technology upgrades, and supportive services through Comcast RISE. Our partnership with the Portland Metro Chamber to learn more about the trends and barriers facing small businesses in Portland can help ensure they have the necessary resources to thrive and grow.”

The full State of Small Business report online at PortlandMetroChamber.com.

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