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Taking the pulse of Beaverton businesses

Volunteers are gearing up to knock on doors for Business Walk survey


Local business owners and managers have an opportunity to chime in on what it’s really like to do business in Beaverton.

A team of volunteers is gearing up for a Business Walk on Thursday, May 15, to pop into an estimated 500 businesses.

These visits are not sales calls.

Volunteers will be gathering information to find out what resources existing companies need to grow and remain in town.

It’s all part of a new Impact Beaverton initiative launched by the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce and the city’s Economic Development Department. The goal is to focus on the retention and expansion of businesses with operations already established in the community.

“We want to keep and grow jobs in Beaverton,” said Lorraine Clarno, chamber president and CEO. “Occasionally, we will work on recruitment.

“Businesses need to know that we care about their success.”

The launch of the Impact Beaverton initiative was the result of a lengthy discussion during the chamber board’s retreat.

“We’ve seen businesses going out of business and leaving,” Clarno said. “Studies have shown that 67 percent of viable businesses leave a community because they need more space and didn’t think anybody cared where they moved to. Others leave because they are injured in some way — whether it’s additional taxes or an inability to get the permits needed. We don’t want that to happen here.”

Next week’s Business Walk will help the Impact Beaverton team take the pulse of the business climate around town.

On Thursday, May 15, 100 business and community leaders will hit the pavement between 9 a.m. and noon.

“We are targeting five condensed, high-density business areas in Beaverton and want to hit as many businesses as we can,” Clarno said. “Our lofty goal is to talk with 500 business owners, managers and key decision-makers.”

This week businesses located near Cornell Oaks, Creekside Business Park, Parkside Business Park, Western and Arctic West and the South Office Building at The Round will receive a postcard letting them know that two volunteers will be stopping in to ask three questions:

  • How is business?

  • How is doing business in Beaverton?

  • What keeps you up at night — your No. 1 business challenge?
  • “We can’t promise to solve all their problems, but we can take a pulse,” Clarno said. “Our goal is to identify some of those common challenges and then proactively connect them to resources.

    “We want them to know we care and are grateful to have them in Beaverton providing local jobs and services. There are people here who value your business in Beaverton.”

    Following the Business Walk, the team will compile information and share results with the community.

    “This walk will give Impact Beaverton more of a scope of where we need to focus our attention the rest of this year and going forward,” Clarno said. “If the walk is well-received, we could go out again in the fall and target other business areas in the city.”

    Companies not located in one of the five business park areas are also invited to provide feedback to the group.

    For more information or to answer those three questions for your business, contact Lorraine Clarno at 503-350-2006 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Former Westgate Theatre site is on the market

    Impact Beaverton leaders are actively marketing the city-owned Westgate Theatre property adjacent to The Round at Beaverton Central.

    It is no longer being considered as a viable location for a proposed collaborative community health center following the expiration of a 120-day negotiation period in March.

    “After the 120 days expired, the Westgate site became unencumbered, so the Impact Beaverton team has been proactively beginning to market the property to developers who may be interested in putting something the community envisioned there — a gathering place, a destination, possibly mixed-use, a hotel or event center,” said Lorraine Clarno, president and CEO of the Beaverton Chamber. “We want to see the downtown vision the community identified come together for this important site.”

    So far, the team has spoken with developers in Oregon and Washington. "People are intrigued by the possibilities," she said of developers' initial responses.