Successful businesses create jobs. The City's Economic Development team provides support for existing and new businesses by acting as a primary resource to companies to make informed business decisions. The Department has three main focuses: (1) Downtown Revitalization; (2) Business Development; and (3) Industrial Development Strategy.
Downtown Revitalization - Our Department plays a key role in the City’s efforts to create an active and vibrant downtown, surrounded by attractive and stable neighborhoods. Primary activities include the formation of an Urban Renewal District; update of the Development Code to better accommodate desired development, and implementation of projects and downtown-specific programs aimed at the physical and economic revitalization of main street.
Business Development - Our Department advocates for businesses to locate, expand, or remain in Hillsboro and seeks to create a favorable local business environment for companies to succeed. This also includes support of legislative measures that enhance Oregon's business climate, regional economic development cooperation through public/private partnerships, and organizations that promote Oregon's business environment internationally.
- Business Expansion/Retention - The Department visits with Hillsboro businesses to offer assistance including advocacy with other City departments or public agencies on issues that may create a barrier to a business' success. We also provide information on resources such as the Greater Portland Export Initiative which works closely with local companies to grow jobs by accessing global markets, or the NW Connectory, an online database of Pacific Northwest companies across all industries at every level of the supply chain, providing an alternative, local supplier source.
- Business Recruitment – The Department routinely responds to companies providing detailed customized site and community information on available real estate, utility capacity and cost, available workforce and wages, area demographics, transportation infrastructure, and financial incentive programs. We also provide site tours and coordinate meetings between the City development team and the company to discuss the advantages of locating in Hillsboro as well as technical site information and the development permit process. These meetings often include our utility (PGE, NW Natural, telecom providers) and State agency partners.
Industrial Development Strategy - The Department, in coordination with other City departments, and local and state agencies creates development strategies for our industrial areas - planning for future development on large vacant industrial sites with minimal infrastructure. This includes conducting site assessments, determining costs to make the sites ready for development, and indentifying funding sources to help pay for these expenses. A development ready site is more attractive to companies looking to expand their operations, especially if the company is on a rapid timeline to meet market demands. This also makes Hillsboro a more competitive location in a global market.
Although the Economic Development Department is the primary lead in assisting businesses relocate or expand, all of the City’s departments promote job creation by providing outstanding customer service to our businesses – also referred to by others as the “Hillsboro Way.” Hillsboro has a global reputation of being responsive to business, working with business to find a mutual resolution to issues, and having the ability to permit large, complex industrial projects on time. Hillsboro strives to set the standard for economic development in Oregon.