Progressive Oregon has a new Business-Friendly Posture

11 Apr 2024

Economic News, GPI in the News, Press Release

PORTLAND, Ore., April 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek signed into law a raft of new legislation in recent days that shows Oregon squarely positioning the greater Portland area for a historic economic comeback.

While the legislative action to end Oregon's legalization of hard drugs has grabbed the most national headlines, the governor's signature on bills to expand the state's semiconductor workforce, further industrial land readiness, and invest in sports all show a state government leaning heavily into economic development.

"Corporations seek fresh industrial land, high-value talent, and a high quality of life, and the governor's actions this year, including ending the legalization of hard drugs, will help further reposition Portland as the Pacific Northwest's prime choice for business," said Monique Claiborne, president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc, the official regional economic development serving the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area.

The legislative actions are the latest boost to positive trendlines in the state's ready-for-business posture.

Business openings in Portland are up 16% (5,900) compared to 2022, and up 11% compared to 2019. Crime rates are falling, and Portland, known for its neighborhood walkability, saw a 14% increase in foot traffic in the central city compared to 2022.

"Businesses choose Oregon not only because we are the best value on the West Coast, but because our values align with their employees and what they seek in places to live. Oregon's active lifestyle and ideal Pacific location continues to be a recruitment," Claiborne said.

The 2024 legislative session also:

  • Established a $15 million semiconductor talent sustaining fund,
  • Reauthorized the Industrial Site Readiness Program to help swiftly improve land in line with the state's tradition of smart, balanced growth, and
  • Invested $43.5 million in sports venues statewide.

The state is also helping leverage historic federal investments from the CHIPS Act which continue to position the Silicon Forest as the crown jewel of US domestic semiconductor research and development.

"Semiconductors are Oregon's top export, and everything we do strengthen our leadership position in that sector helps support the rest of our diverse economy with good paying jobs," said Neil Simon, Greater Portland Inc spokesperson.

About Greater Portland Inc
Greater Portland Inc (GPI) is Oregon and Southwest Washington's only regional public-private partnership dedicated to creating and expanding jobs and driving tangible regional prosperity. GPI's service area includes the seven counties: Clark County and Skamania County in Washington, and Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County, Columbia County and Yamhill County in Oregon.

SOURCE Greater Portland Inc.