Seth Koenig’s July 1 piece, “A New Golden Age?,” failed to mention one critical component of a healthy and prosperous Portland: our locally owned and independent businesses. Portland Buy Local’s board of directors and 400-plus members look forward to great prosperity in Portland over the next 10 years and beyond, and we believe that much of the growth and expansion of the tourist market is directly related to our unique blend of food, shops, arts and people.
Portland’s “eclectic nature” extends beyond our architecture and lighting to a robust blend of retail, cultural, and restaurant options crossing every price point. Our strong membership is a critical piece of what makes us a vibrant city and a special destination for people seeking diversity, creativity, and a one-of-a-kind experience. Portland’s original and unique businesses are what will attract repeat visitors to fill 400 new hotel rooms, and provide jobs that will attract and retain talented new residents. We believe any comprehensive vision for the city’s future must welcome and embrace our locally owned independent businesses, and value our community’s merchants, artists and entrepreneurs. That for us is a real golden age.
Kristen Smith, president
Portland Buy Local