Portland business leaders make push to draw holiday shoppers downtown

Businesses are concerned about safety downtown due to homeless.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Leaders with the Portland Business Alliance, Downtown Clean & Safe and other agencies came together at Pioneer Place Thursday morning to draw holiday shoppers downtown this season.

Their backdrop was a temporary pop-up shop in the corner space at Southwest 5th Avenue and Morrison Street, which now houses Dfrnt Pigeon, a brand designed by homeless teenagers through the nonprofit New Avenues for Youth.

“We're giving them an opportunity to feel valued,” said designer Anna Coghill.

The pop-up, an annual program, is one of several holiday campaigns designed to draw shoppers to downtown Portland over the holiday season.

Directors with the Portland Business Alliance said the business community downtown is doing well, pointing out more than 35 new restaurants and retailers opened up there this year.

They also acknowledged a growing amount of complaints in recent weeks from business owners who say their employees don’t feel safe downtown.

One such complaint came via a guest opinion piece in The Oregonian, in which Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle wrote he’s considering moving the Sorel headquarters out of the downtown core.

More: Columbia CEO concerned about safety of downtown employees

“Of course it's family-friendly,” said Lisa Frinch. "We would not have 100,000 workers in downtown Portland or full hotel rooms if we weren't a safe downtown."

Heads with PBA also touted other downtown shopping incentives and programs, including the annual “Little Boxes” campaign that takes place over the Black Friday weekend and free parking in the Smart Park garage near Pioneer Place on the first three Sundays of December.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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