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Economic Development: Analysis of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon will be examined to determine the current status of economic development. The resources for this study initially will come from public administrator generated information. The data will be assessed using S.W.O. T. Analysis. “Smart” Action Research will then be conducted to determine what specific economic development strategies may be employed to address areas of concern required for enhancing economic development prospects in the above jurisdiction. Using published scholarly resources and pertinent analytics, the action research efforts will turn to identifying options available to decision makers. This action research will result in a final report that provides both the criteria by which economic developments strategies may be weighed and a discussion of recommended actions, each uniquely assembled to improve the economic prospects for Portland, Oregon.

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The city of Portland is located in an area of about 145 square miles in the northwest Oregon State. It is an important economic center of the Northwestern United States. Its geographic position seems to be beneficial for many industries since it has a large port, which allows easy transportation of goods. For this reason, it can be assumed that the city receives income from various sources. However, its economic situation still has to be analyzed in order to provide a plan that will guarantee future economic growth. Moreover, it is also important that all goals regarding the financial development of the city are in accordance with other objectives. In this paper, the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of Portland’s economic situation will be thoroughly analyzed.


First of all, one of the prominent features of this city is that it has a successful economy. This statement comes from the fact that there are a number of positive factors that contribute to growth, including strong retail and good health care. Moreover, this city has indicated several policies regarding employment, which provides different opportunities for people of various occupations to find jobs. For instance, researchers indicate that Portland’s progressive coalitions “came together in 2009 to develop a Community Workforce Agreement, which specified high wage standards and inclusionary hiring targets for underrepresented communities” (Schrock, 2015, p. 663). This fact alone means that policymakers in this city are interested in people finding jobs even in places where it is difficult.

Another strength about Portland is that it is famous for its sharing economy, which is still a relatively new concept for small businesses even in the 21st century. For example, “a taxi cooperative in Portland, Oregon, has adopted the technology used by ride-sharing companies” (Schor, 2016, p. 11). This implies that even small companies are open to new ideas, which allows them to continue developing further.


Nevertheless, even in such a progressive city, there are several weak points that require improvements. For instance, the unemployment rate in some service sectors still remains rather high, with rapid staff turnover. This issue seems to be especially apparent in underrepresented communities, where the number of low-income population also grows. Other problems include the absence of enough land that could be used for the market development.

Opportunities and Threats

However, there are several opportunities that can diminish some disadvantages and make the most benefit out of advantages. For instance, it is still possible to create policies that could solve the unemployment problem and also encourage entrepreneurial activities. Nevertheless, there is a possibility to encounter some threats that include having to compete with other communities. Another risk factor is the stagnation in property tax base and tax base reliance on large properties.

Economic Development Strategies

In conclusion, it would appear that the criteria, by which economic developments strategies can be analyzed, include the unemployment rate, the development level of small businesses. Another important criterion is the ability to compete with other communities on the market. As for recommended actions that could be implemented, it would be beneficial to develop projects and partnerships that would help low-income residents to find a job. Another profitable idea would be to implement youth entrepreneurship programs in order to help small businesses to compete with other communities and global companies. Attracting new companies with awards for taking part in the city’s economic development could also be helpful. These steps can help Portland to promote business practices, reduce unemployment, and provide future economic growth. Oregon.”

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Schrock, G. (2015). Remains of the progressive city? First source hiring in Portland and Chicago. Urban Affairs Review, 51(5), 649-675.

Schor, J. (2016). Debating the sharing economy. Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics, 4(3), 7-22.

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