NOVEMBER 5, 2018

Opinion: Moving Portland's central city forward

“To retain our reputation as a center for creativity and innovation, we'll need to invest in cost-effective infrastructure that improves people's ability to move safely and efficiently through the city… The Central City is projected to triple by 2035, while job growth is expected to increase by 40 percent. We must manage that growth to maintain a vibrant economy that continues to foster innovation and allows us to compete on a global stage.”

Ashley Henry, Chief Collaboration Officer, Business For A Better Portland

Read the full story at Portland Business Journal.

OCTOBER 29, 2018

Opinion: The big contradiction of corporate giving in Portland

“Businesses give back to the community while simultaneously advocating for the preservation of policies that leave many in our community behind. What’s more, the visible signs of that inequality — camps on the sides of our freeways and garbage on our streets — will never be solved by simply increasing police presence or adding garbage cans. To solve this challenge, we must address the reason the camps and garbage exist in the first place.”

Ashley Henry, Chief Collaboration Officer, Business For A Better Portland

Read the full story at Portland Business Journal.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018

Opinion: We must continue to make smart housing investments

“As we help our neighbors facing homelessness, it's important to recognize that the forces feeding this crisis are complex and far-reaching. As a state and a nation, we do not offer nearly enough support or resources for people facing addiction and mental health challenges. We woefully underfund our public education system. We've created an economy that has offered anemic wage growth for most Americans, despite a rapid climb in the cost of necessities like housing, transportation and medical care. And we've failed to invest in affordable housing as families have been priced out of their neighborhoods. Each of these policy decisions has contributed to the growth in homelessness and housing insecurity in Portland and other cities.”

Ashley Henry, Chief Collaboration Officer, Business For A Better Portland

Read the full story at Portland Business Journal.

May 1, 2018

Opinion: Business leaders need to address root causes of homelessness

"BBPDX believes that when our community thrives, business thrives.

That means we recognize that when everyone in our community has access to the basics — a good-paying job, a decent meal and a safe place to call home—our community will be stronger and our businesses (large and small) will be more profitable. We believe that business owners have a responsibility to advocate for policies that will improve the lives of not just their families and their employees but all of their neighbors."

Ashley Henry, Chief Collaboration Officer, Business For A Better Portland

Read the full story on Oregon Business.


february 22, 2018

Fledgling Business for Better Portland builds its influence

BBPDX's first membership meeting of the year "opened with a videotaped statement from liberal 3rd District Congressman Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, who urged those in attendance to get involved in civic affairs. That was followed by a panel discussion on transportation issues, where calls for increased transit and protected bike lanes were greeted with applause."

Read the full story in the Portland Tribune.


february 8, 2018

Portland's newest business group marks its first year

"I think Business for a Better Portland has demonstrated there is an authentic curiosity that some electeds have to understand and learn from and collaborate with this next generation of socially conscious entrepreneurs. Electeds are seeing Business for a Better Portland members wishing to play that role ... It’s going to take electeds being curious of these new industries, these new processes and places to intersect and have the conversations and have a firm foundation of trust." - Mara Zepeda, BBPDX Board Chair

Read the full story at Portland Business Journal. 


february 6, 2018

Clear vision needed to sell voters on 2018 and 2020 Metro bond measures

“Chief Collaboration Officer Ashley Henry explained that transportation is an emerging issue for businesses because increasing congestion is interfering with their operations. Creating affordable housing along major transit and transportation corridors is one way to help reduce congestion, she said. "It's critical that businesses work on these issues," Ashley said before the discussion, which was held at The Urbanite, a new interior design hub in inner Southeast Portland.

Read the full story in the Portland Tribune. 


January 31, 2018

Business leaders hear how Portland has fallen behind and needs their support to reach transportation goals

BBPX’s first policy event of the year, “Portland’s Transportation Future: Business Stepping Up To The Challenge”, was an opportunity for panelists and attendees to network and focus on fulfilling a progressive transportation agenda for our city.   

Read the full story on 



November 26, 2017

Portland's homeless crisis needs collaborative approach to address root causes

“While nearly every conversation I have had with business leaders in the last 18 months has touched on the plight of those experiencing homelessness, very few have called out greater police presence as the most urgent and effective solution. Business leaders I've spoken with - whose industries span some of the fastest growing sectors of our economy -- understand that solving a complex problem like homelessness requires nuanced and broad-based solutions that bring elected officials, government agencies, businesses and advocates to the table.”  - Ashley Henry, BBPDX Chief Collaboration Officer

Read the full text of the Op-Ed in the Oregonian.


October 26, 2017

Call for Applications to Join the BBPDX Associate Board

It’s time to take the next step to scale our collective work and extend our reach and efficacy. We are calling for applications to join the BBPDX Associate Board. "We are committed to growing and diversifying our organization’s leadership by engaging new sectors and communities that represent Portland’s diverse business community." - Anna Hutson, Founder and CEO, Avenue

Learn more and apply here.


AUGUST 29, 2017

BBPDX shows up, raises cash for winners
of PitchBlack

"A founder member of Business for a Better Portland, Stephen Green likes the group because it's focused on action. 'They ask members to do something, it's a call to action to show up and support someone, not just placate and talk.'"

Read the full story in the Portland Tribune


JULY 10, 2017

Business group seeks a prosperous Portland for everyone

"We saw an opportunity to create a new type of business organization that represents progressive businesses in growing industries that value collaboration and solutions over stalling and cynicism. Traditionally, businesses have come together to ensure that policies benefit businesses only. What if we advocate for policies that make our city better and more inclusive?" - Mara Zepeda, BBPDX co-founder, board member and CEO of Switchboard.

Read the full interview in Crain's Portland.


JUNE 19, 2017

A budget for creating great schools,
also grows business

BBPDX member, and founder and CEO of McClanahan Bruer, Kerry McClanahan writes: "By adequately funding our education system, we meet the needs of our kids and we help businesses attract and keep talented employees. It's time we do what's right for our businesses, our families and the future of our state."

Read the full OpEd in OregonLive.


JUNE 17, 2017

Businesses speak out in favor of paying more for essential services

BBPDX surveyed 100 members in March and received 35 replies back, which were unanimous in favor of paying more taxes to support public education. "We remind our leaders that what they are hearing 'inside the building' is not representative of the entire diversity of business leaders across the state," says Ashley Henry, the chief collaboration officer for BBPDX.

Read the full story in the Portland Tribune.


JUNE 14, 2017

Green Hammer CEO Stephen Aiguier explains dire consequences of delaying action on business taxes

"While we need to curb the rising costs of public employee benefits, including pensions and health plans, spending cuts in the absence of improvements to the state’s business tax structure will only create continued uncertainty for businesses. And, with the start of the 2017-2018 school year just three months away, it will also delay critical investments in K-12 education and unnecessarily jeopardize the future of Oregon's children."

Read the full OpEd in the Portland Business Journal.


JUNE 13, 2017

Businesses speak in favor of gross receipts tax to fix education funding

Mat Ellis, CEO of Cloudability Inc. in the Portland Pearl District, asked lawmakers to pass the tax so he no longer loses young, highly skilled employees who love Oregon until their children grow to school age.

"If you want to foster a vibrant tech industry in this state — and the well-paid jobs that come with it — you’ll have to make the necessary investments, which begins with an appropriately funded education system,” Ellis told the Joint Committee on Tax Reform at the Capitol.

Read the full story in the Statesman Journal.


JUNE 13, 2017

Oregon tech leaders voice support for corporate tax plan

Matt Ellis, BBPDX founding member, and Founder & CEO of Portland-Based Cloudability, says companies such as his rely upon Oregon's quality of life, including well-performing public schools, to attract highly skilled workers from other major metropolitan areas. "If we want to move people from Chicago, New York and the Bay, we have to have the complete package here. If we can get schools back to being reasonable, that's a big help."

Read the full story on OregonLive.


JUNE 13, 2017

BBPDX is not a trade organization, 
but a community-building organization

"Another new organization, Business for a Better Portland, has moved quickly from Portland-area issues into statewide policy by supporting a new business tax.  The organization is creating a new model for business advocacy and involvement, saying it is not a trade association but a community-building organization.”  

Read the full story in Oregon Business.


JUNE 7, 2017

Portland business group: Spending cuts alone won’t fix state’s budget

"We realize the clock is ticking, but our legislature needs to move forward this session with revenue reform alongside spending cuts. Because at the end of the day, we aren’t just business owners or shareholders — we’re also parents and neighbors and, above all, Oregonians. And it is our sincere belief that by building stronger communities, we’ll create a stronger economy for all of us." 

Read the full OpEd in the Portland Business Journal.


JUNE 2, 2017

BBPDX surpasses the 100 member mark!

"The biggest win for Portland’s youngest chamber, Business For A Better Portland (No. 23), was surpassing 100 diverse member businesses after relaunching in February."

Read the full story in the Portland Business Journal.


FEBRUARY 8, 2017

Portland indie chamber rebrands, expands membership

“Last year was about proving that businesses in Portland believe that business succeeds when a city is equitable and prosperous,” said Mara Zepeda, chair of the Business for a Better Portland board, and CEO of the startup Switchboard, in a written statement.

Read the full story in the Portland Business Journal.



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“BBPDX breathes fresh air into what it means to be a chamber. It’s not bad food with stuffy people looking for referrals. Its real folks, committed to making a difference their communities while growing great businesses.”

–Stephen Green, founder of PitchBlack


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