What kind of message does it send to retailers/citizens (taxpayers) that have to follow city sign code when our own city council does not need to follow that same code. Randy Leonard's leadership of the Bureau of Development Services is reckless and irresponsible. What's his deal with signs?
The City of Portland passed new rules (increased fees) on Wednesday that will further regulate how restaurants share the sidewalk next to their businesses. Again, "The City That Works!" will make it increasingly difficult for small business owners to adapt and provide an welcoming atmosphere in our neighborhoods. The brief period of time that restaurants and cafes have to enjoy the Pacific Northwest weather should not be further burdened with bureaucratic hassles. Businesses that activate dull sidewalks with tables, plants and people should be rewarded, not taxed. I hope the next time that Randy Leonard walks into his favorite cafe and asked for an outside table he is seated next to the toilet.
We hear so many negative stories these days about businesses closing their doors, or about to. We thought it would be a refreshing twist to hear from a business that is actually doing well, despite the downturn in the economy. Ecru Modern Stationer is located in The Sitka building in the Pearl (1215 NW 11th Avenue, between Northrup & Overton). Not exactly a main & main location. Despite this, Ecru is a growing & healthy business. Here is a Q & A with LeAnn Dolan, the ever cheery owner:
Q: I see you every time I go into your adorable store & you always have a smile on your face. How do you do it? A: I turned a passion into my business plan - I love what I do!
Q: Has the current economy affected the way you approach your business? If so, how? A: The current economy definitely has affected how I manage my business. On the financial side I am very conscious of how I handle everything from overhead, to cost of goods, to advertising. On the store side I try to create the best possible experience for every customer with great service and great products – I know there are many choices out there and I am very appreciative of their business.
Q: You’re pretty happy with how your business is performing right now, despite the economy, to what do you attribute this success? A: Since I opened the store I have worked to establish a loyal clientele and it has paid dividends during this tough economic time.
Q: Do you know of other local businesses that are also faring OK in this economy? A: I seem to be surrounded in the North Pearl with businesses that are faring well and positive about the future. I feel very fortunate to have such great neighbors.
Q: Have you been surprised to hear of any of the businesses that have closed in recent months? A: It’s always surprising to hear of other businesses closing. I think people have many reasons for closing, not always directly related to the current economics. In any event we support local businesses and recognize we succeed when they succeed.
Q: You’re in the (current) northernmost reaches of the Pearl, some might say a little off the beaten path. How do your customers find you? A: This has been one of my biggest hurdles and something we are always working on. The Internet has been a big contributor in allowing people to find Ecru. We work hard to have a good internet presence with our website – www.ecrupaper.com and our blog: papergirlpdx.wordpress.com Word of mouth has also been an invaluable source.
Q: What, or who, inspired you to open your own business? A: I worked for a wonderful family owned stationery store here in Portland for 11 years and I left to sell furniture at Crate & Barrel. After a year and a half I decided I loved paper more than furniture so I decided to open my own shop and sell all the things I loved.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you would share with anyone considering opening their own business right now? A: Love what you do because you will never work so hard in your life.
Q: While I have you here, anything new in the store I should check out? A: Great new greeting cards and boxed notes have arrived recently and I have some fun new office products coming in as well for summer.