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PBA Letter on Downtown Marketing Initiative funding, 2/12

February 14, 2012

 

The Honorable Sam Adams

City of Portland

1221 SW Fourth Avenue

Portland, OR 97201

 

Dear Mayor Adams,

 

On behalf of Portland Business Alliance, the Downtown Retail Council (a division of the Downtown Clean and Safe District), Travel Portland and Portland Mall Management Inc, we are writing to you today to express concern over the proposed cuts to the Downtown Marketing Initiative in the Bureau of Transportation budget. While we understand the significant shortfall faced by the bureau, the downtown business community made an agreement with the city that, in exchange for increasing parking fees and hours, the city would reinvest a small portion of the funds generated to the revitalization of downtown, including a contribution to the Downtown Marketing Initiative. In the spirit of this partnership, we urge you to restore funding of the Downtown Marketing Initiative.

 

The Downtown Marketing Initiative partnership leverages public and private investments to ensure downtown remains healthy and relevant in an environment of increased suburban competition and economic uncertainty. Downtown retailers reported that Occupy Portland protests negatively impacted their business, with customers reporting a negative perception of downtown safety and comfort. Now, more than ever, the Downtown Marketing Initiative’s goal to promote downtown as a safe, easy, convenient destination is needed.

 

Funding for the Downtown Marketing Initiative was originally established in 2008 through Portland Bureau of Transportation funds and a retailer-supported increase in on-street parking fees and Smart Park per hour rates from $1.25 per hour to $1.50.  In 2009, when the transportation bureau faced a budget shortfall, the retail community again agreed to increase parking rates and extend the hours for paid parking to evenings and Sundays.  In both cases the retailers agreed with the understanding that a portion of the revenue would be used to fund the Downtown Marketing Initiative.

 

Parking revenue, the vast majority of which is generated downtown, now accounts for approximately 20 percent of the transportation bureau’s general fund budget.  Downtown retailers generate nearly $1.5 million a year in parking revenue through parking validation programs. These funds are spent across the city to support the transportation system for the entire community.  Simple equity and fairness dictates that at least a portion of the funds generated by downtown be reinvested in downtown.

 

The Portland Business Alliance annually collects feedback and comments from businesses in the Central City; in our most recent survey, 39 percent of all respondents indicated that the cost of parking downtown is too high and needs to be improved. Over 100 businesses provided comments indicating that parking fees, fines and Sunday parking was driving business away from downtown. The Downtown Marketing Initiative programs shift some of these perceptions and offset the competitive disadvantage that downtown endures due to parking costs through a comprehensive marketing program publicizing downtown Portland’s unique retail, restaurant and cultural offerings, cleanliness and safety.

 

Downtown is the region’s core economic development engine, and its success is key to the strength of the city and the region. Highlights of downtown’s contribution to economic vitality over the past five years include $275 million in Business License Fees ($48 million annual average); over $7 million in parking validations within the city-owned SmartPark garages; $22.5 million in cleaning and security services provided via the Clean and Safe District, and $22 million from the business community for the Portland Transit Mall.

 

The Downtown Marketing Initiative has leveraged the public and private investment well and has made great strides in the two years since the new funding mechanism was put into place:

  • Expansion from a holiday-only marketing effort to year round marketing promoting seasonal events focused on retail, restaurants and the performing arts;
  • Addition of new communication channels to include a robust social media presence with communications reaching a base of 60,000 contacts;
  • Perception surveys measuring the public’s favorable feelings about Downtown increase an average of 4 percent after the holiday marketing push (in 2009, from 66 percent to 72 percent, in 2010, from 64 percent to 66 percent, and in 2011, from 61 percent to 68 percent);
  • A downtown retail sales composite matrix made up of sales results from over 15 downtown businesses, showing an increase of 14 percent in 2010 and an estimated 10 percent in 2011, pending the end of fiscal year;
  • Incorporation of nonprofit charitable partners in promotions, including New Avenues for Youth and Transition Projects Inc, organizations that have raised over $75,000 in cash and in-kind donations thanks to Downtown Marketing Initiative activities.

 

The supportive partnership programs of Downtown Marketing Initiative ensure that businesses remain healthy and relevant in an environment of increased suburban competition. These programs are particularly significant during economically challenging

 

times, particularly when other financial tools such as urban renewal are declining in presence in the central city. Approving the Downtown Marketing Initiative’s full budget request as submitted will go a long way to ensure the success of the public and private investments within our city’s core. We urge the City of Portland to fully fund this important program. Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

 

                                                        

 

Sandra McDonough                                      Phil Kalberer

Portland Business Alliance                            Chair, Portland Mall Management Inc.

 

                       

 

Jeff Miller                                                     William Palmer

Travel Portland                                              Chair, Downtown Retail Council


Table of Contents
Vending Carts Regulations brochure (pdf)
2013 Span of Control Report (pdf)
Captioned video of Council hearing on Blood Donations and HIV precautions, September 2013
DHM Oregon Opinion Poll 2013
Department of Justice Settlement Agreement
Resolution on Zoning Confirmation Letter, Oct 2, 2013
Right to Dream Too Zoning Confirmation Letter, for Oct 2 hearing
Street Musicians Agreement FAQs
Street Musicians Agreement (pdf)
Occupancy/rental taxes on hotels, rental vehicles, etc.
Adopted Protected Sick Time Ordinance 3/13/13
Adopted Protected Sick Leave Code
Metro Fact Sheet on the proposed Oregon Convention Center Hotel
Statement on proposed Public Utility District, 7/18/13 (pdf)
Comments on Parks and Development Services, one month into my assignment
Corrected Comments at the vote on the 2013 - 14 Budget
Comments at the vote on the 2013 - 14 Budget
Ordinance creating the Office of Equity and Human Rights, 09/21/10
Job Posting 3/15/13, Administrative Assistant/Constituent Services Specialist
Adopted Protected Sick Leave Code 3/13/13
Helen Moss OpEd in the Oregonian on why Sick Leave is needed now
Task Force Issues Summary
Protected Sick Time Code proposal 2-28-13 (clean version)
Protected Sick Time proposal 2-28-13 showing changes since 1-18-13
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 3 Notes
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 2 Notes
Agenda, Earned Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 2
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 1 Notes
Earned Sick Leave Task Force members
Memo to Venture Portland members on Earned Sick Leave (pdf)
PSU Economists' Analysis of Earned Sick Leave costs and benefits (pdf)
Proposed Sick Leave Code
Proposed Sick Leave Ordinance
NW Parking: Phased Implementation (Exhibit C)
NW Parking: Amended TMA Structure (Exhibit B)
NW Parking: Additional Amendments to Map Boundary
NW Parking: Amended Resolution
Adopted Principles for Budget Advisory Committees
Public Involvement Advisory Council
City Budget Office proposed Code changes
City Budget Office proposed Ordinance
3-1-1 Resolution passed 10/10/12
Link to article commenting on Harvard fluoride study
Substitute Resolution on Coal Trains, 9/19/12
Statement of Intent for improvements in Portland Police Bureau policies and practices, and the City's care for people experiencing mental illnesses, 9/13/12 (pdf)
US Department of Justice Findings in Investigation of Portland Police Bureau, 9/13/12 (pdf)
Comments at the Fluoridation vote, 9/12/12
Open Reservoir Work Session Follow-Up Storage Volumes
Open Reservoir Work Session Follow-Up 08-27-12
DRAFT Summary of current City payments of County services
Library District Budget Impacts
Office of Equity and Human Rights Powerpoint Presentation
Office of Equity and Human Rights One Year Work Plan
Letter to the OLCC from Nine Portland-Area State Legislators
2012 Spirit of Portland Awards Nomination Form
Ordinance Related to Licensing Exterior Areas
OLCC Exterior Areas Petition Document
West Portland Crossroads Report by Patty Lee
Council presentation on Portland Harbor from March 28, 2012
Final State Legislature Summary, 3/7/12
Sidewalks Data
PBA Letter on Downtown Marketing Initiative funding, 2/12
State Legislative Update 2/17/12
Team statistics for the 2009 calendar year
State Legislative Update
Final Resolution on Corporate Personhood
Speech from Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen
Cox v. New Hampshire 1941 U.S. Supreme Court decision
Letter from CFO Rich Goward Regarding City Investment of Funds
Office of Equity and Human Rights Seeks Director
Report from the 1st International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities, Dublin, Ireland September 28-30, 2011
Letter to the Postmaster General
Office of Equity and Human Rights
Response to NECN regarding Last Thursday, 7/28/11
Safer PDX Report Powerpoint
Mid-project Presentation to Council, Safer PDX
Proposed Office of Equity Work Plan, 8/17 Public Review Draft
Proposed draft Equity Office creation ordinance, 8/17 public review draft
Garbage Rates and Options, October 2011
East Portland Expo Program 2011 (pdf)
State Legislative Update 6/30/11
Technology Oversight Committee Application information (pdf)
State Legislative Update 6/24/11
State Legislative Update 6/19/11
State Legislative Update 6/10/11
State Legislative Update 5/28/11
Reports on Equity/Disparities
State Legislative Update 4/29/11
BOEC (9-1-1 Center) 2011-12 Budget Advisory Committee presentation
Equity Office Concept - DRAFT 3/22/11
Equity Office Concept - DRAFT 3/22/11
3/3/11 Update on siting of Wireless Antennas in neighborhoods
Video of Portland Broadband Strategic Plan kickoff session
Biographies of 2011 Charter Commission members
Mayor Adams's response on Human Trafficking statistics and the real problem we face
2011 Charter Commission process Q & A
Appointees to the 2011 City Charter Commission
2011 Charter Commission Appointment Resolution
Sidewalk Management Citations Data, June - August 2010
Resolution on Broadband Strategic Plan, 9/22/10
Summary of Proposed Portland Alcohol Impact Area
OLCC information on Alcohol Impact Areas
National Women's Health Week Project Report
Sidewalk Management Plan updates
Planning for SW Parks
Comments on West Hayden Island Resolution 7/29/10
Amanda's Amendments on West Hayden Island Resolution 7/29/10
Public Safety bond referral
Process for review of Cellular facilities in neighborhoods
Schools/Parks Amendments 4/28/10
Memo to Council on Schools/Parks Code project
City report on 2010 Oregon Legislative session
Central City Concern - spending taxpayers' money wisely
Report on Central City Concern's program effectiveness
Tree removal and construction on I-5 in SW
2010 Regional Graffiti All-Stars
Tibet Proclamation
Neighborhoods in the News, Summer/Fall 2009
Dirty Duck Demolition Permit remarks
Human Rights Commission statement on Aaron Campbell shooting
Questions and Comments on Bull Run Land Exchange and new Bull Run Code
US Postal Service letter on schedule for changing address from 39th Avenue to Cesar E Chavez Boulevard
Water Bureau Fulton/Willamette Park Pump Station
Independent Police Review Dec 2009 Quarterly report
Status of the Columbia River Crossing Bridge
Willamette Week article on Riverfest 2009
Potential Health Impacts of Wireless Facilities
Report on Prostitution Advisory Committee on 82nd Avenue (pdf)
Winter shelters information
Sharing Public Spaces Report
Visit with Gateway Area Business Association
Comments on Bull Run water treatment options, 7/27/09
Community Discussion on Sharing Public Spaces, 7/21/09
Community Discussion on Sharing Public Spaces, 7/18/09
Comments on Proposed Stadium in Lents Park
Statement of Concerns on Major League Soccer
Hayden Island Plan
My first 100 days
Report on the Office of Healthy Working Rivers
City Auditor Report on the City Government's Financial Condition
Office of Healthy Working Rivers organizational meetings
The Great Soccer Debate
"Made In Oregon" sign
Progress on defeating Graffiti
Radon Awareness Month