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2013 Census & Survey: Data reveals downtown job and business growth

Business owners and retailers feel downtown is very clean and safe

For more information:
Liza Dossick | 503.552.6772, ldossick@portlandalliance.com 
Valerie Cunningham | 503.552.6754, vcunningham@portlandalliance.com 

December 3, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Clean & Safe District’s 2013 Business Census and Survey results, which were released today, show a positive upward trend in downtown Portland’s employment numbers as well as business growth in the retail, construction and technology sectors. According to the census, downtown Portland added 1,917 employees and 489 businesses in the past year. Results from the annual Downtown Business Census & Survey also show that, for the thirteenth year in a row, a large majority of downtown business owners feel that downtown is clean and safe.
 
“The upward trend in employment and businesses downtown is great news for the region because a thriving Central City is essential to the region’s economy,” said Ty Barker, general manager of Unico Properties and chair of the Downtown Clean & Safe District. “The public and private investments in downtown over the years have made it a convenient as well as clean and safe place to do business.”
 
The survey data is gathered from October 2012 to October 2013.  
 
Other report findings include:

  • More than a 12 percent increase in the number of downtown businesses, with particularly strong growth in the retail, construction and technology sectors;
  • An upward trend in employment within construction, wholesale, technology and information sectors;
  • Continuing strong positive sentiment about safety with 94 percent of downtown workers believing that downtown is safe;
  • The impact of panhandlers and public inebriates continues to be the top factor that needs improvement;
  • The health of downtown businesses is improving, nearing pre-recession level with 83 percent responding that their business is healthy; and
  • In terms of how employees are getting to work downtown, the census shows a 13 percent increase in use of transit (MAX, bus, Streetcar), a 10 percent decrease in single car drivers and a 2 percent decrease in bike commuting.
 
The Downtown Clean & Safe District, funded by downtown property owners and managers in the 213-block district, conducts the Business Census & Survey each year, surveying employers within the I-405/I-5 loop. The Clean & Safe District partners with the Portland Development Commission on employment data. Other survey data was collected using mailed questionnaires, personal follow-up and block-by-block canvassing to obtain a statistically significant survey sample of 20 percent. 
 
View the Downtown Business Census & Survey results.
 
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Downtown Clean & Safe District
Downtown’s Clean & Safe District was created more than 20 years ago to support additional cleaning and security in the central city. The district, funded by downtown property owners, includes 213 blocks in the central city, and also supports market research and retail recruitment and retention efforts. The district is managed by the Portland Business Alliance under the direction of the district’s board of directors. Learn more at http://www.cleanandsafepdx.com/