The agency approved Emanuel Hospital’s expansion in 1970, razing nearly 300 homes and businesses in the heart of Northeast Portland’s black community. More recently, it brought urban renewal and a light-rail line to North Portland — changes that sent rents and home prices soaring. The confession, written to a black leader during the controversy over a proposed Trader Joe’s at Northeast Martin Luther King and Alberta, marked a new chapter for the agency.Canada Goose aufnäher Last year, commission leaders announced a five-year plan to atone. Urban renewal dollars will help 65 displaced families return to the inner city. And the agency created programs aimed at building wealth in communities most affected by gentrification.
The development commission’s incubator for startup businesses now subsidizes minority entrepreneurs for a year as they work out the kinks in new businesses. In July, the agency wrapped up Project Increase, a nine-month program teaching 10 minority business owners how to expand their operations. And it launched a stylish, interactive website highlighting businesses owned by women and ethnic minorities.“We know this is just the beginning of work that needs to be more normalized in terms of how we work with entrepreneurs of color,“ said Tory Campbell, a senior business development coordinator for the agency. Canada Goose aufnäher „We’re serving them now in the way we have served their white counterparts.“As commission leaders reworked their strategic plan, they found widening economic gaps between white Portlanders and ethnic minorities.Even though black- and Latino-owned businesses have increased dramatically over the past five years, minorities still struggled to find investors, city data shows. In the past two years, only 2 percent of Portland venture capital deals went to black-owned firms. None went to Latino-owned firms.
Commission leaders set out to prove „that we have strong entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who can be and will be and already are very successful,“ said Kimberly Branam, the agency’s new executive director. „We just need to raise the profile and provide support and network opportunities.“The agency had already run an incubator for startup businesses, offering free rent, financial backing and services that include time with lawyers and accountants. Canada Goose aufnäher But it had mostly benefited white male entrepreneurs. For the 2015 class, commission leaders decided to recruit businesses from „underserved communities.“ „There’s a long history of why people of color don’t trust“ the development commission, said Katherine Krajnak, a project manager for the startup incubator. „When you do a startup competition aiming to recruit founders of color, you have to lead with building relationships before you expect people to apply. It’s about showing up early and often, saying we do care about you and your journey. It might take a year or two before they’re ready for the program. That’s one way to repair that trust.“