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News Release
Portland Metro Chamber releases first ever State of Small Business Report - 09/13/23


SEPTEMBER 13, 2023– Portland, OR: This Thursday, September 14th, the Portland Metro Chamber will release its State of Small Business Report, examining entrepreneurial growth patterns in Portland and Multnomah County post pandemic, recognizing small business contributions to the overall economy of the region, acknowledging challenges owners continue to face in these uncertain times, as well as identify potential solutions to support small businesses in the future.  

This first State of Small Business Economic Report, led by the Chamber in partnership with ECONorthwest and presented by Comcast, shows a surge of small businesses in Portland with thousands opening up across the city in recent years. 

Small businesses are the heartbeat of main street Portland and Multnomah County. They account for 94 percent of all business establishments in the County and 35 percent of all employment. The data shows Portland exceeds the national average and ranks higher than peer cities with the number of employees working for small businesses. Support for women entrepreneurs is strong, ranking 5% higher than the national average and second only to Seattle. However, the number of minority owned small businesses in Portland is just 16%, trailing Seattle at 24% and Austin at 23%.  

This information is designed to help our region better understand some of the ongoing issues facing smaller employers in our community and explore ways to foster growth for this segment of our economy.  

“Everyone can agree that we want to be the most welcoming location for small businesses to start, grow and stay in our community. We applaud local, regional and state leaders for their investment in our Central City. This report clearly shows there is still a great deal of work to be done. We look forward to collaborating with our partners in government to advance Portland’s economic strategy and come back stronger and better than ever.” Andrew Hoan, President & CEO Portland Metro Chamber 


Key Report Takeaways:  


35.1% - percent of all workers employed by small businesses in Multnomah County, 28% in Portland metro.  

94% - percent of all establishments in Multnomah County are small businesses.  

41% - percent of small businesses owned by women in Portland metro, 5% higher than national average.  

16% - percent of minority-owned small businesses in Portland metro, 6% below national average.  

$64,885 – average annual wage of workers employed by small businesses in Multnomah County.  


"Along with the bureau leaders in my portfolio, we are using every tool we have to build a stronger ecosystem for small businesses, to catalyze housing development, to support more proactive public safety engagement in the community, and to offer support when small businesses are affected by crime. We are working hard to be a good public partner that is meaningful and substantial in supporting small businesses and their growth." Commissioner Carmen Rubio 

Thank you to our partners at Comcast for their continued efforts to support small businesses across the region. This summer Comcast invested $4 million in grant packages to small businesses in Multnomah County, including those owned by women, people of color and individuals committed to uplifting their local communities.  

"Comcast is dedicated to supporting the small business community in Portland," said Marion Haynes, Vice President of External Affairs for Comcast's Pacific Northwest region. "Recently, we awarded 100 small businesses in Multnomah County with grants, technology upgrades, and supportive services through Comcast RISE. Our partnership with the Portland Metro Chamber to learn more about the trends and barriers facing small businesses in Portland can help ensure they have the necessary resources to thrive and grow."  Marion Haynes, Comcast 


View the full State of Small Business report online at PortlandMetroChamber.com.  

For additional context on what this report means for our region’s ability to return to its pre-pandemic days of a thriving economy and vibrant, bustling city, please join us for an informative presentation by Dr. Mike Wilkerson, Partner and Director of Analytics at ECONorthwest, followed by a lively panel discussion. 


FORUM BREAKFAST: State of Small Business 

Thursday, September 14th 2023 at 



The Duniway Portland 
545 SW Taylor Street 
Portland, OR 97204  



Click here to register your attendance for this event. 




View more news releases from Portland Metro Chamber.