As we enter a new year with new challenges, it’s important to make note of our accomplishments and how we can build upon them to make the greatest and most meaningful impact moving forward.
Bricks Need Mortar was born from the pandemic to bring our small businesses together in community over competition, to increase visibility and be seen by both, policy makers and customers. We advocate for smart policy and much needed supports for this community, the backbone of our economy.
As a support organization Bricks Need Mortar’s mission is to provide wrap-around support for your small businesses beginning with increased visibility to your small businesses. It can be easy to overlook our accomplishments as our focus is on you. Wrapping up another difficult year, we take note of our achievements to build upon them and best serve you as we continue to forge forward in 2022.
1.- Launching Shop Talks – As we emerged from years of pandemic restrictions, the desire for in person connection directed us to convert some of our monthly programming to in person meetings. Shop Talk is designed to bring our brick and mortar small businesses together to discuss common concerns, challenges and opportunities.
2.- Travel Portland President’s Award – Travel Portland acknowledged Bricks Need Mortar and founder Sarah Shaoul for efforts to advance Portland Community through pursuit of partnership and initiatives in support of Portland’s small business.
|3.- We Are Here 2022 Look Book and 2024 Look Forward Survey -Each year we survey Portland’s small businesses to get a read on the health of this community. We share with you so you can see where you stand in relation to your peers and we share with policy makers to help them understand the priorities and needs of Portland’s small businesses. This directs our programming and further supports our advocacy efforts.
4.- Fighting Small Business Crime -The We Are Here Survey revealed the shocking statistic that 79% of our small brick and mortar businesses had been broken into and/or vandalized in 2022. This propelled us into engagement with PEMO, Public Environment Management Office, to connect businesses to resources for addressing crime and improving conditions and accessing resources to limit and address crime. We also engaged with ORCAOR, Oregon Retail Crime Association, to ensure that small businesses are included in efforts to identify and prosecute those engaged in organized crime. Bricks Need Mortar was invited to speak on Think Out Loud to share the small business crime data we collected, increasing our visibility as a small brick and mortar coalition.
5.- #PDXUNITES We continue to collaborate with Unitus Community Credit Union on weekly $100 gift card giveaways to small, brick and mortar businesses, increasing visibility and driving foot traffic. From the beginning of the pandemic to now, we’ve helped Unitus CCU give away over $20K to be spent at small businesses.
6.- Small Business Stimulus Distribution -worked with Worksystems to expand the delivery of federal stimulus to Portlanders to be spent only at Portland small businesses.
7.- Paid Worker Program -worked with Worksystems and PCC to match small, brick and mortar businesses with workers that would be paid by the program, providing an approx $5K -$12K benefit for each participating small business.
8.- Win Big 2023 + Win Big App We continue to review, learn and adjust the Win Big Holiday Campaign, bringing small businesses together to amplify the message to shop small, while delivering a fun and rewarding experience for holiday shoppers winning over 100 prizes. We reached beyond Portland to draw more shoppers and foot traffic into Portland to play. We also invested in development of the new Win Big Shop Small App, in order to make it easier for customers to discover participating small businesses and track raffle entries. We worked with key partners Travel Portland, Downtown Retail Council and other community partners to make this effort possible.
9.- Discover the Heart of Portland Shopping Guides We continue to produce and distribute the small business specific Portland evergreen shopping guide, organized by neighborhood. Working with our Community Partner, Morel Ink, we are able to distribute 20K guides through participating small businesses, area hotels, The Travel Portland Visitor Center and Travel Oregon Visitor Center at PDX Airport.
10.- Recommended Professional Resource Providers – in an effort to strengthen this community, through collaboration, Bricks Need Mortar has identified and vetted high value professional service providers, negotiating special rates whenever possible and learning opportunities so you have trusted professionals to turn to to help you maintain and grow your small business.
11.- Learning Sessions and Panel Discussions – We continue to program important growth and learning opportunities on timely topics like HR Session on the new Paid Leave Oregon + Oregon Saves and Bringing Your A Game for The Holidays and Beyond.
12.- Governor Brown’s Downtown Task Force – Sarah Shaoul was a solely focused voice advocating for Portland’s entire small business community participating in the Vision Committee Subgroup of Governor Kotek’s Downtown Task Force.