Research Study Provides Insight for Repositioning Greater Portland as a Great Place for Businesses

8 Jun 2023



May 25, 2023

Research Study Provides Insight for Repositioning Greater Portland as a Great Place for Business

A recent survey commissioned by Greater Portland Inc (GPI) has provided insight into how the region can move forward to attract more economic activity and growth.  


Greater Portland Inc (GPI) commissioned a study to assess current perceptions of Greater Portland and the best ways to grow the region. As part of the study, Development Counsellors International (DCI) performed a media audit on the economic development stories about the Portland region, held round table discussions with key business leaders, facilitated virtual focus groups, and conducted online surveys of residents, external corporate executives and site-selection consultants on their perspective on Greater Portland as a desirable place to live and do business.

Although many factors influence awareness of a location for investment purposes, dialogue with industry peers, as it has been since 1996, continues to be the top influencer on perceptions of the Portland area, followed by business travel, word of mouth, online sources, and articles in newspapers and magazines.

Despite some positive news about company expansions, the audit found that media stories were largely focused on companies moving away from the Portland metro, often due to crime. According to the results of the survey, respondents were not convinced the 60 cities in the region were doing enough to promote itself to businesses and recruit talent. 

Business executives have certain identifiable opinions and beliefs about doing business in the Portland area. Some of these perceptions might be accurate; some might be genuine misperceptions. “Greater Portland needs to be better at bragging. There are opportunities to amplify the good news/stories,” said one survey respondent.

Participants undeterred by the negative press, rated the region highly on airlift to domestic and international locations, presence of colleges, quality of life, diverse industries and companies, the entrepreneur ecosystem, and an affordable West Coast location.


Regardless of the strong points for Greater Portland, respondents felt we could position the Portland metro area positively in the minds of decision-makers. The region fell short in over ten factors for business location considerations including, quality of life, cost of living, entrepreneurial ecosystem, and perceptions of instability.  Consequently, selecting the Greater Portland region as a place for new or expanding businesses rated lower than living or relocating - but with proper marketing and strong public advocacy, we can make a change. 


President and CEO of the organization, Monique Claiborne said: “The results of the survey were eye-opening. It has provided us with dynamic insight into where there is a gap in messaging. We are responsible for the perceptions of the region because we have the power to shape the way people see us. GPI is prepared to launch a business marketing campaign that leverages our assets. As the landscape changes, so too will the campaign. We hope area businesses and Oregon lawmakers can join us in this effort.”


GPI presented the findings of the study at its Q2 Market Insights Event on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at 10 a.m. For further information about Greater Portland Inc, visit:

 About Greater Portland Inc

Greater Portland Inc is a non-profit economic development organization committed to touting the Portland region as a place for expanding businesses. GPI is the only regional public-private partnership dedicated to creating and expanding jobs and driving tangible prosperity in the Portland region. The organization is supported by public-sector partners, private investors and philanthropic groups throughout the region. GPI's service area includes Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County, Columbia County and Yamhill County in Oregon.


Media contact: Monique Claiborne, President & CEO,