Monday, March 21, 2011

News in Oregon: Gifts and investments, the Japanese earthquake, and more...

Here's a great way to start the week: Two of my favorite things in the same sentence! According to a recent Portland Business Journal article, Google donated $1.25 million to the University of Oregon. The money is for UO's Network Startup Resource Center and will help expand internet access to "less advantaged" countries.

On a related vein: A new economic development group in Southern Oregon, the Sustainable Valley Technology Group, is using a combination of county funds and private investments to help "incubate" five new businesses. The SVTG was a startup itself last year with ambitious goals for fund-raising and encouraging growth. Read more about this (quite interesting!) story.

I learned this morning that Japan is one of Oregon's biggest export markets for agricultural goods, with a market value in 2010 of more than half a billion dollars. Knowing this, it's not a surprise that the turmoil in Japan is affecting business here in Oregon. The impacts are present on both the import and export side of the economy. Details available in the Portland Business Journal article.

Our last news piece for today is about the closure of the bus mall in downtown Salem, which has affected business owners across downtown. Many local businesses saw sales dip when the mall closed and the offices located at the mall had to move. Unfortunately, there's no quick solution in sight.

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