PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Amid the pandemic, protests and a homeless crisis, downtown Portland’s reputation has been the center of some controversy over the last few months. A new survey is shedding light on how many businesses have closed as 2020 comes to an end.
The Downtown Portland Clean & Safe recently conducted a survey of businesses within the 213 blocks that make up the area. They said they surveyed 718 retail and restaurants throughout the month of September.
Their survey found there were over 430 businesses still open, some by appointment only or with adjusted hours. 170 businesses were temporarily closed, or only doing online shopping.
Over 20 businesses had permanently closed, and there were over 80 retail locations that were not occupied.
On Friday, KOIN 6 News spoke to one local business that was celebrating its reopening after it was damaged by the big protest and riot downtown in late May. Mercantile Portland is open again for the first time in four months.
“It was rough, emotionally, and we were down here every day working on it,” said Controller Eric Murfitt. “We are just glad to be open again.”
Murfitt said looters smashed through the storefront, sending glass and paintballs inside, and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise. He said it took months of work to restore the shop, but that the grand re-opening has been worth it.
“Really great response from the customers,” said Murfitt. “It gets us, it makes it worth it–that we worked on this, so hard for four months to get it looking like this.”
In August, Greg Goodman, the co-president of the Downtown Development Group, wrote a letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler and the members of the Portland City Council about the number of businesses that are moving out of or locating outside the central district of Portland.
“The number is like nothing I have seen in 42 years of doing business in downtown,” he wrote.
You can find a full list of open businesses here.