Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown, Business Oregon, and the Port of Portland today announced $300,000 in state investments to help Oregon's small businesses continue to export their goods.
"The movement of goods in and out of Oregon is essential to the state's health now and in the future," said Governor Brown. "These investments help build a dependable and cost effective means for Oregon's companies to access markets and grow during the current disruptions at the port and beyond."
The recent reductions in Oregon shipping options have forced importers and exporters to find more expensive alternatives.
“With 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside America, global trade is critical to the success of Oregon's small businesses,” said Sean Robbins, director of Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency. “Small businesses are disproportionately impacted by the loss of shippers at Terminal 6. We're working to help those companies stay competitive in a global market."
“Lack of shipping services from Portland, whether via air or water, has a significant impact on the competitiveness of Oregon products in global markets," said Bill Wyatt, Port of Portland Executive Director. "These funds will assist greatly in finding innovative transportation solutions as well as in recruiting new air cargo service to our region.”
The Governor approved a $250,000 project to work with small- and medium-sized businesses across Oregon to identify common challenges for exporters. The project will deliver a list of recommended solutions to the 2016 Legislature.
The Governor also approved $50,000 to help resume air cargo service between Oregon and Asia after Asiana Airlines discontinued its cargo flights in 2013. Air cargo is an ongoing need that's been heightened by the recent decline in shippers operating at the state's largest port.
Of the 6,000 Oregon companies that exported last year, 5,300 were small- or medium-sized businesses. In 2014, Oregon exports hit a record $20 billion, up 12 percent from a year ago. Nationally, Oregon ranked No. 7 in its per capita value of exports in 2012.