Business Owners Decry Crime in Portland

Dozens of business owners say they can’t cope with the constant crime and attacks on their workers and stores, on Portland’s Central Eastside.  

For 90 minutes Tuesday night, they vented about break-ins, drugs, guns, assaults, and explosions.

Kim Malek, a co founder and CEO of Salt and Straw ice cream,  talked about the impact of crime on the business.  “One of our employees on his way into our central kitchen was held up at gunpoint,” said Malek. “A gun in his face as he walked in to make ice cream.” 

Like Salt & Straw, Steven Smith Teamaker CEO, Darren Marshall, said he is considering moving his headquarters out of Portland Central Eastside.  “It’s just not safe. In fact, today there was an explosion, one of the camps caught on fire a block away from us.   We deal daily with human feces on our shoes, we deal with break-ins, we deal with assaults.”

Mayor Wheeler promised the business owners, that the city is ready to move forward with a 90-Day Reset Plan  to help the neighborhood bounce back.   The plan includes increasing police patrols and a more serious focus on homelessness, litter and graffiti.

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