News Release: Portland, PSU partner to encourage B Corp certification

Mayor Charlie Hales announced a partnership between the City of Portland, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber (HMC), Venture Portland and Portland State University on Giving Tuesday. 

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The partnership and Measure What Matters B Corp Challenge is focused on increasing the diversity of businesses and business owners taking the Quick Impact Assessment and making improvements toward Benefit Corporation certification.

“For many businesses B Corp certification can be difficult to achieve, because of money, time, or lack of information,” Hales said. “By partnering with these diverse business organizations and PSU, the City has an opportunity to level the playing field for our small and neighborhood businesses, our women- and minority-owned businesses, allowing them an opportunity to measure and improve on the community-minded business practices that are good for Portland, and good for the modern economy.”

Participating businesses will be encouraged to “Measure What Matters” by taking B Lab’s Quick Impact Assessment, measuring a business’ impact on its workers, the community and the environment. Serving as a baseline, businesses will be asked questions that align with the good business practices already embraced by Portlanders and many Portland businesses — sustainability, healthy and diverse work environments, charitable contributions and investing in one’s community. The HMC, Venture Portland and PSU will each provide outreach, education and technical assistance to interested businesses, with the goal of increasing the number of businesses committed to measuring and improving their current business practices.

“I am thrilled that the City and Mayor Hales have chosen to partner with the HMC and Venture Portland. Both have a proven history of service to our smaller, neighborhood and diverse businesses and are in a unique position to provide the outreach, education and technical assistance needed for measurable improvement,” said Commissioner Nick Fish.

“On Giving Tuesday it is important to note that neighborhood businesses have always given back to the community — by providing half of Portland’s jobs and contributing to local charities at more than twice the rate of national chains,” said Heather Hoell, Executive Director of Venture Portland. “In fact, in 2016 Portland’s nonprofit neighborhood business associations donated more than $100,000 to other local charities city wide while neighborhood businesses collectively contributed more than $1 million to help keep Portland a wonderful place to live, work and play for all. As the support system for Portland’s 50 neighborhood business districts and 19,200 neighborhood businesses, Venture Portland is excited about this ‘Measure What Matters’ partnership which will provide a critical framework to further quantify these meaningful contributions.”

“Our small business clients want to make a positive impact in our community and future generations, they just need a little guidance on how to embed those values within their business practices. This partnership will allow us to help them think about practices they can change to ensure their businesses values reflect their personal values,” Oscar Arana, President of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber.

The Measure What Matters B Corp program will launch January 2017 and run until June.