Pictured, L-R: Helen Smith, Jaguar Land Rover; Andrew Gerbetz, Daimler Truck North America; Mayor Ted Wheeler; Rakesh Aneja, Daimler Truck North America; Kimberly Branam, Prosper Portland; Danny Lu, Powin; Hayley Shauklas, Weir ESCO; Angela Rico, Commissioner Rubio's Office

Committing to Portland – One Year with the Business Retention Core Team

In 2023, Prosper Portland launched the City’s Business Retention Core Team to provide outreach and assistance to retain Portland’s key traded sector employers. Working in partnership with Mayor Wheeler’s and Commissioner Rubio’s offices, the team collaborated with City bureau partners to deploy resources and proactive outreach strategies to help employers stay, expand, and open new locations in Portland.

Since its launch last summer, the Retention Core Team has successfully connected with more than 250 businesses representing more than 12,000 employees through outreach, visits, technical assistance, and referrals to City and statewide resources. These businesses make a vital contribution to fostering economic growth, providing employment opportunities, and contributing to the overall health of our community. The team continues to proactively engage on highly visible business retention and expansion projects throughout the city.

The following businesses are examples of employers making exciting investments in Portland’s growth and competitiveness this year:

  • LegitScript, an internet and payments compliance company operating in the tech and e-commerce industries signed a new lease in the Big Pink, occupying the 27th CEO Scott Roth shared that, “Accessibility was a key driver of this location” and Kristen Zervis, Executive Vice President of People said, “The people who are in Portland, love Portland. I think that’s why we’re seeing so many people come into the office.”
  • Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) announced two significant investments at its headquarters complex on Swan Island. The company will invest $40 million for a new engineering facility and $3 million for a new electric vehicle supply equipment training center which will be located adjacent to Electric Island at DTNA’s campus. “Daimler Truck North America is proud to call Portland, Oregon our home,” said John O’Leary, president and CEO, DTNA. “We appreciate the City and State’s support of our expansion plans to further promote the development and proper testing of advanced technology and look forward to collaborating for many more years to come on training and employing a future-ready workforce.”
  • Deckers Brands, a footwear, apparel, and accessories leader in the Athletic & Outdoor industry is leasing 60,000 square feet of office space in the Canvas at Press Blocks building in Portland’s Stadium District to support its growing Hoka brand. “We are excited to be a part of this building in Portland’s Stadium District to provide our teams with an inspiring space to support our exceptional brand culture and commitment to excellence,” Robin Green, President of HOKA, said.
  • Panic, a tech and media company that creates applications for developers, makes a handheld game system, and publishes video games, further propelled its growth and development in downtown Portland by utilizing the Enterprise Zone program. Co-founder Cabel Sasser said, “Portland was a place that we never had trouble convincing people to move to. That helped a lot.”
  • Revant Optics expanded its operations by moving into the Pearl district. Sherpa Design expanded and is now occupying Revant’s previous space in the Central Eastside. Revant Optics Founder and CEO Jason Bolt said, “I am very committed to Portland. I love the people here and this maker-, entrepreneur-, creative- energy that comes specifically from the Pearl. There’s a lot of great brands here that were born in Portland and are trying to do great things in the consumer product space.”
  • Pat Barrett, Owner and President of Sherpa Design said of their new space “We just love this kind of funky, cool part of town. There’s always something interesting going on. And the way we work with clients, they’re coming to us for creative solutions, trying to find different ways of doing things. I think being surrounded by all the cool spots here adds to our ability to be creative.”
  • Birch Biosciences, a Green Cities industry company that engineers enzymes to enable a high yield, sustainable, cost-effective plastic recycling process is expanding into the Central Eastside. Johan Kers, co-founder and CEO said “Birch Biosciences is excited to be building our first laboratory facility in Portland’s Central Eastside district.  Portland is our home, and we’re excited to be building a next generation plastic recycling company in a community that cares as much about this problem as we do.”

These are in addition to other major announcements like Jaguar Land Rover’s expansion of its software engineering operations, ESCO’s new headquarters in NW Portland, PAE’s Living Building certification for the largest living building in North America, and Bauman’s Cider Company’s relocation to the Central Eastside.

Prosper Portland Director of Economic Development Shea Flaherty Betin reflected on the past year of collaboration and these successes, saying “We love seeing these wins for Portland, and we’re still laser focused on demonstrating value to our businesses and proving that our city is open for business. These projects, supported by the Business Retention Core Team, represent living wage jobs for Portlanders. These employers are central to our city’s health and culture, and we’re honored that they continue to invest and grow in Portland.”

If you are interested in connecting with Prosper Portland’s Business Advancement Team about support for your growing business, please contact Anne Crispino-Taylor, crispino-taylora@prosperportland.us

  • Committing to Portland