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Portland mayor encourages people to do their holiday shopping downtown

Wheeler said police are working to address safety concerns.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Community and business leaders are encouraging Portlanders to shop local this holiday season. Local retailers joined Mayor Ted Wheeler to speak Friday morning at Orox Leather, a downtown leather store.

It's been difficult for businesses to survive and owners are hopeful for a big holiday season. It's not just the pandemic. Orox has been broken into several times this year. Mayor Wheeler said safety is top of mind.

"There's no question in my mind that safety is a primary concern for people in the city," Mayor Wheeler said. "That's why we're making sure that we deploy officers to the streets, that we have police presence, that's why I'm calling for more officers in the this fall budget process." 

Long-term, Wheeler hopes to add 300 police officers over the next three years. 

But in the immediate future, the mayor said they're doing the best with what they've got.

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"Chief Lovell has actually deployed foot patrols in certain areas of the city that are high traffic areas where people are most likely to be when they're doing their holiday shopping," Wheeler said.

Speakers also detailed guides to help Portlanders including local markets, holiday events, shopping guides and business tips, and a focus on BIPOC-owned businesses, both downtown and throughout Portland's neighborhoods.

With the current challenges of the global supply chain, retailers say your best bet for on-time holiday gifts is buying local. Shopping local and early will eliminate waits for shipped goods and out-of-stock items.

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