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Mayor Wheeler encourages Portlanders to shop local

News Article
Mayor continues push to encourage Portlanders to get holiday shopping done early, as part of ongoing “Here for Portland: Shop Small, Shop Now” campaign.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and representatives of Portland’s small business community gathered at The Shops at 10Y in downtown Portland to urge local shoppers to purchase holiday gifts within the community as the region faces disruptions in the global supply chain.

Those disruptions – including West Coast port slowdowns, order backlogs and fewer truck drivers – will play havoc with small business owners’ ability to stock adequate merchandise for holiday shoppers. It’s an international issue that is hitting close to home as well.

Mayor Wheeler said, “We want this holiday season to be a rewarding one for the entire Portland community. We are bringing a full array of resources to promote and support local retailers, restaurants and suppliers with the goal of empowering and encouraging residents to be Here for Portland. Local markets and events will feature small business owners – especially those who are people of color; and downtown shoppers will be able to safely enjoy Portland’s most beloved holiday events, including the holiday tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square and Tuba Christmas. Our FastStop parking program will facilitate curbside pickups, and the Healthy Business permit program helps restaurants maintain outdoor seating through the winter. For a complete list of partners, events, and opportunities I encourage everyone to visit Here for”

The mayor also noted that by shopping early, Portlanders can focus on enjoying experiences at the city’s many cultural attractions and finding ways to give back to the community in the spirit of the season. Multiple efforts are underway to help holiday shoppers discover new sources for gift-giving throughout the city, from My Peoples Market, which focuses on BIPOC-owned entrepreneurs, and specialty online publications like the Mercatus Buy Native, Latine and Holiday gift guides, to the Small Shops Big Hearts partnership with Kuto gift cards to encourage neighborhood shopping.

Downtown retailer Martin Martinez, owner of Orox Leather Goods, said, “I think many folks don't realize the powerful impact that buying local has on our community. By supporting local craftsmen, you are investing in the wellbeing of our city and helping make Portland a better place for all of us to live and work. Unfortunately, while we embrace the new normal and navigate this uncertain future together, it is undeniable that many of the Portland businesses you love are at risk. I am here today to humbly ask for your support on behalf of my fellow local business owners. Together, I know we can craft a better future for our city.”

Jillian Sevick, owner of Hammer and Jacks toy store on SE Foster Road, said, “When the pandemic hit, I don’t think we could have made it without our fellow small businesses and our community and organizations like Prosper Portland. It struck me the other day that I could do all my holiday shopping within 10 blocks of my shop at independent small businesses. That’s not to mention the wealth of independent shops within 10 miles of Portland. Not only are Portland’s inspiring entrepreneurs to thank for that but the amazing supportive, community which is changing the landscape of tomorrow by voting with their dollars and choosing to keep these small independent shops alive in Portland. Our doors are open now, and we encourage people to come back to our shop; every purchase you make will not only will ripple through myself and my family but also with other small businesses I’m able to support.”

Brigid Blackburn, owner of Cargo and board vice president of Venture Portland, said, “With Halloween this weekend we are already seeing lots of fun events and shopping opportunities for families, and Venture Portland will share out many more in the coming weeks. Please sign up for Venture Portland’s weekly emails and follow us to discover the wonderful retailers and restaurants in Portland’s many neighborhoods.”

Venture Portland provides an ongoing series of business district shopping guides, which highlight retailers and restaurants in neighborhoods across the city. Venture Portland also offers webinars to help businesses with social media, store and window designs, and using city programs like the Healthy Business permit.

In a video message, Commissioner Mingus Mapps noted that Portland is home to more than 23,000 neighborhood businesses that provide more than 300,000 jobs. Many of these neighborhood businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic. He said, “Please shop early; please shop local; and please have a very happy holiday season.”

Experts are urging consumers to shop early for the holidays this year and consider creative shopping alternatives like these:

• Don't count on the fast e-commerce delivery you've come to expect. 

• Order online, then pick up in the store — it's likely to be fastest (provided the item you want is in stock).

• Don't be embarrassed to buy everyone gift cards this year. They can be used later, when inventories are replenished.

• Consider shopping at thrift stores, which young people prefer for their smaller carbon footprint.