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Expert Questions

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Below is a list of common questions that have been asked of our community of experts. Click on a question to discover the answer. If you do not see your question below, please ask it using the form above.

  • I would like to relocate my business to Portland, where can I start?
    An organization called Greater Portland Inc. has a great resource guide for this at greaterportlandinc.com or call their office at 503-445-8065.
  • Who do I call if I am concerned about homeless people sleeping outside my business?
    If your business is located within the Downtown Clean & Safe district, you may call for immediate assistance at 503-224-7383. If you’re unsure if you’re in the district, check the online map here. Outside the district, call the Portland Police at 503-823-4000 or email reportpdx@portlandoregon.gov.
  • I am having trouble getting a building permit through the city. What can I do?
    The Bureau of Development Services is the city of Portland’s permitting agency and it can be a complex and difficult process to understand. Here are some numbers to call depending on where you are in the process. For general development questions, call 503-823-7300. For compliance services and code enforcement, call 503-823-2633. For planning and zoning questions, call 503-823-7526. For building code questions, call 503-823-1456.

    It is also possible to hire someone to help you manage this process. Call the Alliance if you would like to talk through your particular challenge.
  • I just started a business and need help, what resources can you connect me to?
    Please visit the Alliance’s Small Business Resources page to find community resources that may benefit you and your business. Other groups with resources for small businesses include Portland Development Commission, reachable through their website or by calling 503-823-3200, and Venture Portland located here or by calling 503-477-9648.
  • I’m new to Portland, how can I engage in the local business community?
    The Alliance hosts more than 150 events every year. Alliance events are among the highest-quality networking and professional development gatherings in the Portland region, attracting more than 7,500 people each year. The Alliance offers a wide variety of events to help members boost their visibility, connect with civic and business leaders and raise their awareness of local and regional issues. Additionally, the Alliance has a very well connected and knowledgeable staff that can help you identify how to maximize your networking time. For more information about the Alliance’s networking opportunities, please contact membership@portlandalliance.com. You can learn more about Alliance events here. You can also find out about events in the community here.
  • How can I reach more customers in Portland’s multicultural communities?
    Considering getting involved with Partners in Diversity, an affiliate of the Alliance, which brings together professionals of color. Partners in Diversity may be reached through the Alliance offices at 503-552-6755. For more specific marketing services see our member listing. Lara Media, for example, helps businesses reach Portland’s Hispanic community.
  • How can I recruit more top notch talent to come to Portland?
    Contact our partners at Travel Portland for documents and information that showcase Portland as an exciting place to live and work. When recruiting young talent, consider the Alliance’s Emerging Professionals of Portland program where young professionals can network with peers. The Partners in Diversity program helps attract and retain professionals of color to Portland. When it’s time to help new talent make the move, the Portland Business Alliance’s travel agent members can assist your company.
  • I have new employees moving to Portland, can you give me advice on how to help them find a place to live?
    Portland is facing a housing shortage, which can add a challenge to relocation plans. More people are looking outside downtown and inner city neighborhoods for affordable options. For someone looking to rent, these Alliance members can be great resources. For help finding a home, we would suggest our listing of real estate agents can help. For a short term rental, check out Alliance members here and here.
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