PDC works on bike industry, sets sights on Vegas

Posted by on September 21st, 2006 at 9:31 am

PDC's Jennifer Nofli

[PDC’s Jennifer Nolfi]

Ever since City Council passed a bicycle-related industry resolution back in July, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) has been working behind the scenes to add some teeth to the effort.

The PDC has designated Jennifer Nolfi as their official liasion to the bicycle industry. She will travel to Las Vegas next week to attend the Interbike bicycle industry trade show and attempt to recruit new bike companies to Portland.

Last month I attended a meeting to learn about the PDC’s role in promoting Portland bicycle industry and their plans to move the effort forward. At the table was Nolfi and reps from the City of Portland, Alta Planning, and Commissioner Adams‘ Office.

Here’s what came out of that meeting:

  • An advisory committee will be formed to provide industry input/guidance on short and long-term strategies to grow the industry, as well as to help identify resources, partnerships, etc.
  • Nolfi will meet with individual business owners to help better understand their needs, challenges, and barriers and to identify potential solutions to help those businesses expand.
  • Nolfi will attend Interbike to look for recruitment opportunities.

I met with Nolfi again recently to get an update on her work and her plans for Interbike.

So far, she has visited several local bike builders including Tony Pereira, Bill Stites, Ira Ryan, and Sacha White. This year she plans to meet with 33 bike-related businesses.

Nolfi said she has heard many exciting ideas including; sponsoring business workshops, setting up a bike industry alliance group, and starting a bike builder’s co-operative. She is also working on a new loan program to help get some of the smaller companies off the ground.

As for Interbike, here’s what Nolfi said about her plans:

“My objective in going to Interbike is three fold: meet with Oregon companies or at least touch base with them; meet with companies that have an interest in expanding, relocating or opening a distribution center in the Portland region; and to met with industry leaders to spread the word that Portland is open for business and that cycling is a key industry for us. We do have some meetings already scheduled.”

Interbike is one of the largest bike industry conventions in the world and Nolfi has a long list of companies she hopes to woo to Portland. She also said that next year the PDC and the City of Portland might have their own booth that would showcase our local bike industry.

Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams—who spear-headed the bike industry resolution—is also hoping to send a representative to Interbike. As of this morning, they’re still working out their plans.

Portland is serious about this initiative and I’m sure there will be some exciting developments in the next few months. Stay tuned…

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Check out my list of Portland-based bike companies.

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CateRoger LoutonSusan OtcenasBill Recent comment authors
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Bill
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I find it incredible that Portland is getting behind the bike industry to help promote it locally! Not only is it spreading a positive environmental message, its also one of economic sustainability within our local community and a great way to increase individual health and vitality.
With many “local” US-manufacture small bike businesses going under lately such as Kelly Bikes, Mtn Cycle, financial restructuring issues at Burley and new news as of today of DeKerf Bikes closing it doors, its good to see there are people that want to help. In my opinion, its small business that really makes our local business community unique, physically attractive and highly customer-service oriented.
Thanks Portland!

Dabby
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Dabby

I want to start a bike related venture.
Recruit me, I am already here.
We have plenty of opportunities right here without going to interbike to bring others in.
Is there a push to offer these same incentives to long time bicycling locals?
These incentives should be 100 percent available to laocals first, then outlanders later.
I know the city wants big bicycle industry, and that is good and well, what small industry is what makes the world go ’round.
What do you say Jennifer?

Dabby
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Dabby

Sorry, my editing in the last post failed horribly…

Cate
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Cate

Could she please help someone open a bike shop in SW Portland (outside downtown)?

Susan Otcenas
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To attract ANY business, bike-related or not, the City is going to have to face up to issues it has with it’s current business tax structure, as well as more general tax issues related to school funding, etc.

Roger Louton
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I have talked to and met many cyclists, mainly MTB’ers, who have visited/lived in PDX, only to say to me, when they find out I live in PDX, ‘what is up with the lack of mountain bike trails in your town?’. MAYBE companies like Trek, who have trails out the back door of their HQ in Wisconsin, might consider relocating here, if there was a place to ride offroad, away from cars. Commuting by bike is cool, I am all for it, but why do MTB’ers have to get in their cars and drive to a place to ride singletrack or freeride…? That is a problem and perception (reality, actually) that PUMP is looking forward to help solving.

Cate
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Cate

Roger, I think the LAB will be looking at that issue when they consider Portland for Platinum status. Portland is lacking in that area.