The success of this ambitious strategy requires a commitment to the implementation of the actions recommended by the strategy. The three elements to effective implementation are:
- An implementation plan developed in collaboration with partners throughout the region;
- A funding plan that meets the needs of the strategy and expands the sources of funding available for economic development;
- Metrics established upon adoption of the strategy and updated regularly to measure performance against the goals of the strategy.
The city will collaborate with public and private sector partners throughout the region to align goals and priorities between organizations and across jurisdictions, and establish an implementation plan to carry out the actions recommended by the strategy. Oversight of the implementation of the strategy will be managed by the Mayor’s office in consultation with the Mayor’s Economic Cabinet, as described below.
The Mayor has established an Economic Cabinet comprising leaders from all facets of the local economy. The cabinet has representatives from the city’s target clusters, plus other key sectors and economic drivers, including tourism, entertainment, and professional services. The cabinet also includes representatives from organized labor, academia, government, and a range of business and labor associations.
The Mayor’s Economic Cabinet will advise on the formation and implementation of the strategy and provide feedback on the city’s progress in meeting the objectives of the strategy. In addition, the cabinet will establish two committees to provide more focused oversight on the implementation of the strategy:
- Strategic Oversight Committee – This committee will advise on key decisions during the implementation of the strategy and will provide accountability for meeting the objectives of the strategy.
- Investment Committee – This committee will champion the resource development plan for the strategy on behalf of the cabinet and work with the city to identify promising funding opportunities.
The cabinet will also contribute members to target industry subcommittees that will form as part of the cluster organizing process for each of the target industries. These subcommittees will serve a variety of functions, including establishing priorities for target industry work plans, serving on industry skill panels for workforce development and assisting in retention and recruiting efforts.
The Mayor’s Office is responsible for establishing and updating the strategy and providing oversight to the implementation of the strategy. While the Mayor’s Office is not an implementation entity, the Mayor is accountable for the results of the strategy, and as such must ensure that coordination occurs among the range of entities with roles in the strategy.
Portland Development Commission
PDC is responsible for the day-to-day staffing of the strategy development and for the development and coordination of the implementation plan. Upon completion of the plan, PDC will direct the negotiation and drafting of the necessary intergovernmental agreements and memoranda of understanding between the entities responsible for particular elements of the strategy. PDC will retain lead responsibility for the implementation of the action steps related to the Competitiveness and Neighborhood Business Vitality sections of the strategy and will collaborate with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) regarding the implementation of the Urban Innovation action steps.
Without adequate resources, this ambitious strategy will not be successful. This strategy requires funding for basic economic cluster and industry support strategies, as well as the investment capital critical to cultivate business innovation and human capital necessary to compete in a 21st century economy. By identifying the resources to fund this strategy, Portland can establish “first mover” status and take a new position of leadership in extracting economic advantage from innovative new policies that promote local sustainability.
An examination of development resources in Portland relative to peer cities indicates that Portland’s peer cities have more generous, long-haul revenue streams and more flexible tools to support economic development. According to this study of economic development funding [.pdf] in other cities similar in size and objectives, including Boston, Denver, Austin, Minneapolis and Seattle, Portland’s peer cities employ a variety of available financing tools and strategies to develop and support the entrepreneurial culture and industry innovation that encourages business attraction, development, and retention. An effective funding strategy should provide:
- reliable multi-year operating support for the key initiatives in the strategy, including work supporting job growth in target industries and thriving small businesses, promoting international trade; assisting small neighborhood businesses;
- a range of innovative debt products to finance the growth of existing businesses and serve as incentives for attracting firms to the city;
- investment capital for start-up and emerging businesses in target industries and those identified through economic gardening;
- strategic investment funds to jump-start new programs and facilitate collaboration among existing programs, particularly for workforce development and research and development initiatives;
- financial incentives through regulations and policies designed to promote growth within target industries and firms adopting sustainable business practices.
Estimated Financial Requirements
The estimated financial requirements to implement the strategy are summarized below. The projected expenditures are separated into three categories: 1) Programs, which include all cluster organizing, business assistance, workforce development and collaborative work with other institutions such as PSU or Oregon BEST; 2) Recruitment includes the staff time and incentive amounts that are offered to firms expanding in or relocating to Portland; and 3) Strategic Initiatives, which includes the catalytic redevelopment projects that are contained in the strategy.
Resource Development Plan
To meet the funding needs of the strategy, the city will work with public and private sector partners to pursue increased economic development funding from the following sources:
- More effective utilization of existing public expenditures in the region
- Increased general fund appropriations for economic development
- Permanent revenue streams dedicated to economic development, including
- City and PDC-owned real estate, which could be leased instead of sold to developers and property managers and generate predictable lease payments;
- Public parking facilities and spaces throughout the city, which hold untapped revenue potential with the expansion of parking meters and the use of demand-based pricing for existing spaces; and
- The city’s incremental gains in emissions reductions, which should have a dollar value under an emissions cap that can be realized through a sale under a cap and trade system or converted into a credit from the federal government.
- City-sponsored or managed revolving loan and investment funds
- Use of existing revenue collection mechanisms to fund specific elements of the strategy, including Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Local Improvement Districts (LIDs), System Development Charges (SDCs) and utility bills
- Targeted procurement expenditures and investment of city investment funds