Summit Recap – Building Opportunity in Southeast: Foster’s Small Business Roundtable

By way of follow-up to February 15th's Foster Summit event, we've asked a couple of the attendees to share a summary of topics and ideas from the breakout session they attended. We will publish these, along with the 'butcher paper' notes in the weeks to come.

Mandy Isaacs did all of us a solid by stepping in at the last minute to lead our small business roundtable --thanks again Mands! She's also one of the organizers of Foster Small Business, where she's been helping to launch the Foster Street Card.

Were you were there? What did Mandy miss? Even if you couldn't attend the event, we hope you'll share your take on these important community issues.

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No time was wasted in the small business roundtable at the Foster Summit. Participants came with questions, ideas and announcements ready to go!

We had a great discussion on connecting with property owners of vacant storefronts and rundown buildings. In hopes of encouraging improvements that would appeal to potential new businesses, we could enlighten owners about existing incentives. There was also mention of creating new incentives that are appropriate for our business community.

It's understood that improvements can be costly and time consuming. Connecting building owners to available grants or PDC funding programs for storefront improvements and treescaping could ease this process. There is also a possible opportunity here for the community to form a volunteer labor crew to assist in completing these projects.


Artistas, y Diseñadoras Graficas: The Portland Mercado Logo Competition

Are you a graphic designer or artist? Do you want to leave your mark on the soon-to-be new addition to Foster Road businesses? Here’s your opportunity.

The Hacienda CDC and the Portland Mercado are experts at turning to their communities to get stuff done. The future Portland Mercado embodies this spirit in their association with the Micro Mercantes program for promoting small business, and in their partnership with dePave to do some DIY community-based prep the mercado site later this year.

So it’s no surprise when they want to continue the collaboration with the community to develop the logo/branding for the new latino market.

Here’s their current logo:


For their new design, they are looking for “a logo that will better represent the diversity and vibrancy of the project centered around Latino culture, food and art.”


We know there are some great artist and designers that are hungry to take this on. Read the full RFP for all details and requirements.

The deadline for submissions is 5PM on December 19th, 2013. All submissions including proper attachments must be sent via email to by the deadline.

Check out the official notice on the Portland Mercado blog.


Meet your Neighbors – Courtesy of the PDC

VideoWe’ve got a semi-regular “Meet Your Neighbors” feature here at Foster United where you can learn more about the people, places and movers and shakers in the neighborhood. To take it up a notch, we’ve wanted to do a video version of the interview, but we haven’t had the time to get all of the starts to align.

Well, we snooze, we lose. We were scooped by none other than the PDC! (How embarrassing). Maybe this will get us off our asses and actually make it happen. :)

The Success of Neighborhood Branding on Foster; Challenges Still Exist

Many Foster-area neighborhoods have boosted their identities through branding and the use of logos.  But what about Foster Road as a whole?

Branding is, no doubt, a key component to a thriving commercial district.  A recent article by Neighborhood Notes, part of a series on changing perceptions of your neighborhood and/or business district, discusses how neighborhood groups can go about launching their brand while also engaging the community and creating identity.

In past articles, the series has covered how to address negative perceptions of your neighborhood, as well as ways to overcome and change those perceptions through branding.  As we’ve seen in the Lents Town Center, logos can go a long way in creating a brand, and the LTC logo has a strong ability to connect a visual cue to the area it represents.  Other neighborhoods along Foster have had varying degrees of success with their branding, while others continue to strive for a stronger identity.