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Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy

A community-driven approach to creating thriving commercial areas, successful neighborhood businesses and equitable access to quality jobs throughout Portland.

In May 2011, the Portland City Council adopted a Neighborhood Economic Development (NED) Strategy which articulates how community partners, business leadership and public partners can use focused neighborhood-level actions to collectively foster economic opportunity and neighborhood vitality throughout Portland. The goal of the strategy is to create thriving commercial areas, successful neighborhood businesses and equitable access to quality jobs.

The NED Strategy, which was developed with the assistance of community leaders, builds out the Neighborhood and Small Business Vitality component of the City's 2009 Economic Development Strategy. The NED Strategy guides PDC and other bureaus in developing plans, programs, and projects to promote neighborhood vitality and business success over the next five years.


Objectives and Priorities

To successfully apply this comprehensive, community-led approach – the strategy outlines three objectives to addresses the gaps in Portland’s existing neighborhood economic development infrastructure.  The City of Portland – with business and community partners – will help provide resources achieve the following objectives.

Objective I – Build Local Capacity to Achieve Economic Development Outcomes             

  1. Strengthen Community Capacity to Develop NED Plans
  2. Increase Citywide Community & Organizational Capacity

Objective II - Drive Neighborhood Business Growth

  1. Connect Traded Sector and Neighborhood Work
  2. Seed Investments to Implement Neighborhood Economic Development Plans
  3. Expand City-Wide Financial Tools for Neighborhood Businesses
  4. Increase Tools to Support Citywide Neighborhood Development Projects

Objective III – Align & Coordinate Resources to Support Neighborhood Economic Development

  1. Align PDC Efforts to Support Community-Driven NED Plans & Equity Objectives
  2. Support Small Business Needs by Coordinating Assistance Efforts
  3. Coordinate City of Portland Initiatives to Support Community-Driven NED & Equity Objectives

Given Portland’s key demographic and geographic challenges and areas of opportunity, the strategy will focus on communities of color and priority neighborhoods.  A job creation and equity lens will guide every action, investment, and program. 

Implementation and Outcomes

Implementation of the NED Strategy will involve numerous public and private entities all working in the same direction to achieve agreed-upon goals.  To guide implementation of the NED Strategy, PDC has established a NED Leadership Group made up of key partners. 

Benchmark, performance, and outcome measures will help to prioritize, monitor, and assess the collective efforts to reach the objectives and goal set forth in the NED Strategy.  Overall success at the end of the five year plan will be evaluated by progress toward the following measures:

  • Profitability of businesses in priority neighborhoods grows by four percent;
  • Real median family income for communities of color increases by three percent; and
  • Annual one percent net job growth in priority neighborhoods.

To measure and ensure equitable outcomes, data will be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and geography.  Additional performance measures will be refined as specific initiatives are implemented, and with the advice of the NED Leadership Group.

PDC currently offers an array programs supporting NED:





Contact us

Kimberly Branam
Deputy Director
503-823-3794 or email

Kate Deane
Neighborhood Manager
503-823-3313 or email