Last calendar year about this time, we released on a project to seem at the difficulties confronting downtown Portland after (we’d hoped) the height of the pandemic and protests. That project, “Downtown in Distress,” included reporting on homelessness, the temper of downtown people and the problems for shops, as nicely as effects from an unbiased poll.

The delta and omicron variants threw a wrench in anticipations for a brief return to normal in 2021. And just a week in the past, much more terrible news. A longtime retailer, Margulis Jewelers, introduced it was closing its landmark downtown store.

“Customers are reluctant to come downtown to store,” owner David Margulis stated in a information release. “Employees choose not to perform downtown.”

It’s distinct that a lot more than two many years into the pandemic, Portland has considerable economic difficulties. And The Oregonian/OregonLive carries on to make investments in small business reporting.

“We’re mobilizing about a objective to address all aspects of Oregonians’ financial life, from the results of the point out and countrywide economic system, to procuring for merchandise and solutions, to housing, own finance, and get the job done lifetime,” claimed Elliot Njus, who leads our Organization & Economy group.

Njus beforehand covered authentic estate/housing, transportation and other topics. Most lately, he led the growth of podcasts for our newsroom.

Protection of two main enterprises in our space falls to veteran business enterprise reporters Mike Rogoway and Jeff Manning.

Rogoway is Oregon’s indispensable go through for information about Intel, a person of the state’s most significant non-public companies. At the commence of the pandemic, he virtually singlehandedly birddogged the problems the Oregon Employment Office had finding jobless advantages to Oregonians.

With politics reporter Hillary Borrud in 2020, he broke the tale of how Oregon’s failure to waive a week’s hiatus right before gains started would expense Oregonians much more than $100 million in federal relief. The governor speedily vowed to remove the “waiting 7 days.”

Rogoway, who has a master’s of organization administration from College of Washington, also handles know-how, application and similar businesses. He keeps an eye on rising corporations as perfectly, such as Dutch Bros, the travel-via coffee chain that had its first general public supplying very last 12 months.

Manning covers Nike, as effectively as linked providers and the intersection of athletics and organization. He also reviews on overall health care organizations and specializes in investigative get the job done with an eye toward white collar crime.

Jamie Goldberg, who had included the Portland Timbers/Thorns and the Portland Trail Blazers for us, transferred to small business when sporting activities shut down at the get started of the pandemic in 2020. She has used the previous two decades masking the unemployed, the plight of tenants and landlords, and the struggles and successes of little organizations.

Goldberg, who has a master’s degree in journalism from University of California, Berkeley, is also a breaking news editor aspect of the week.

An additional relative newcomer to the group is Jayati Ramakrishnan, who joined The Oregonian/OregonLive in 2019 from the Hermiston Herald. She began on the breaking information staff but now covers transportation and housing. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon University of Journalism and Communications.

Just this month, we have extra even far more reporting firepower. Kristine de Leon addresses retail, small company and other company developments for us, these as her latest explainer on why gasoline price ranges vary so significantly relying on which Oregon county you are in.

De Leon was pursuing a Ph.D. in microbiology just before catching the reporting bug. She earned her master’s in journalism from College of Southern California. She is expert in data assessment, coding and internet enhancement, which will serve her nicely as she explores small business and financial trends.

When I began at The Oregonian in 1983, the Business office, like the rest of the newsroom, was predominantly staffed by guys. What couple gals reporters we had were largely in the characteristics division, producing for the Residing segment. It is terrific to have a staff of Company reporters with these kinds of numerous existence encounters, perspectives and passions.

The team’s operate is supplemented by other reporters, such as Ted Sickinger, who addresses forestry and utilities Borrud, who stories on state authorities and politics and Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, who is on the Portland Metropolis Hall conquer.

We know desire in small business topics is robust. We can see that by way of the huge figures of persons who examine content on OregonLive and abide by us on social media (On Twitter, @OregonianBiz has the 2nd largest following following our major account). You can sign up for our Oregon Small business Insights publication at oregonlive.com/newsletters.

The Oregonian/OregonLive’s staff members left our downtown places of work and went to distant function March 17, 2020. This spring, we anticipate some journalists will return to our places of work alongside Southwest Initial Avenue and some others will continue to perform remotely. I hope to see our reporters and editors again checking out workplaces, covering activities, and conference sources for coffee face to experience, just as usually as we made use of to. I’m looking ahead to investing a lot more of my time in our downtown newsroom once again.

Note: Longtime Oregon civic chief Gerry Frank was questioned to generate a column for The Oregonian back again in 1988. His column, named “Friday Surprise” following the Meier & Frank revenue by that identify, appeared in the A portion for many a long time.

Extra recently, in the options part, his popular month-to-month column highlighted Oregon travel and dining potential clients for viewers. Frank died March 13 at age
98. We know audience will miss his insightful guidelines and insights, as will we.


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