Chamber testifies in support of economic growth and support to local employers

September 2023

On Thursday, August 31, the Portland Metro Chamber (PMC) testified before Portland City Council in support of three resolutions, Agenda Items 733-735, changing the East Portland and Portland Enterprise Zones (E-Zones) and granting an employment increase waiver for Daimler, a significant local employer. In a noteworthy session, all three resolutions passed unanimously with a 3-0 vote.

Jay Clark, PMC Director of Government Relations, delivered a compelling testimony in favor of these resolutions. His presentation highlighted the critical importance of the proposed changes to the E-Zones and the employment increase waiver for Daimler to the city’s economic growth and recovery efforts.

More details about these resolutions:

1. Expanding E-Zone Boundaries
The proposed boundary changes to the Portland Enterprise Zone, particularly the inclusion of lots in the NW Industrial Zone and downtown SW Core, were emphasized as critical steps in revitalizing Portland’s central city. These changes are expected to promote equity and resilience in economic growth, aligning with the city’s broader goals.

2. Designating E-Commerce for East Portland
The addition of a designation for electronic commerce (e-commerce) in the East Portland E-Zone was recognized as a key move to further support economic growth and job creation in the city. This designation is poised to play a vital role in the future of Portland’s economic landscape.

3. Proven Impact of E-Zones
Existing E-Zones have a proven position impact on our local economy, leading to the creation of 3,600 jobs and attracting $1.8 billion in capital investments since 2015. These numbers underscore the program’s efficacy in driving economic growth and investments.

4. Commitment to Economic Growth
The Portland Metro Chamber recognizes the city’s proactive approach to fostering economic growth in the city. The combination of these resolutions, alongside future incentives like a business license tax holiday for central city leases and the central city TIF district, forms one of the most ambitious economic growth packages in the nation.

5. Support for Daimler
The importance of passing the employment increase waiver for Daimler was highlighted. This action is seen as essential to ensure the expansion of Daimler’s operations in Portland, creating more job opportunities and generating future tax revenue for vital public services. Daimler’s role in developing clean freight mobility aligns with Portland’s vision of becoming a national and global leader in clean industries.

The passage of these resolutions by the Portland City Council shows a strong commitment to fostering economic growth and resilience in the face of challenges. These policy actions are expected to have a significant and positive impact on the city’s central area, ensuring that Portland continues to thrive for generations to come.