BEAVERTON CITY COUNCIL
BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE MEETING MINUTES
OCTOBER 20, 2003
CALL TO ORDER:
The Business Roundtable Meeting of the Beaverton City Council was called to order by Mayor Rob Drake in the First Floor Conference Room, Beaverton City Hall , 4755 SW Griffith Drive , Beaverton , Oregon at 6:20 p.m. Present were Mayor Drake, Couns. Betty Bode, Dennis Doyle, Fred Ruby, Forrest Soth and Cathy Stanton. Also present were Economic Development Manager Janet Young , City Attorney Alan Rappleyea , Human Resources Manager Nancy Bates, Senior Program Manager Joe Gall and City Recorder Sue Nelson . Also present was former City Councilor Evelyn Brzezinski .
Guest speakers present were: Su Moran, Wells Fargo Bank; Gale Castillo, Executive Director, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; Lorraine Clarno, President, Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce; Ham Thorne, Board Chair, Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce; September and Paul Rouse, owners of New Seoul Garden Restaurant in Beaverton.
TOPIC OF DISCUSSION:
Economic Development Manager Janet Young addressed the group concerning the diverse nature of Beaverton 's population and its businesses. She reviewed the population characteristics of Beaverton that included 20 percent of Beaverton 's population was foreign born. She said there were people in the community from Mexico , India , Korea , Viet Nam , China (included Hong Kong and Taiwan ), Iran , Canada , Philippines , Japan and Guatemala .
Young lead an informal question and answer session on the experiences of minority business owners as they promoted their businesses.
Su Moran, Wells Fargo Bank, explained the opportunity for minority businesses were great, but many large corporations did not actively invest in these businesses. She noted there were over 1,000 Korean-owned businesses in Beaverton (grocery stores, restaurants, cleaners) that were underserved mainly because of language barriers.
It was noted the public policy system was not user friendly because of the language barrier and there was a need to study this problem for possible solutions.
Gale Castillo, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber served 140 businesses in the past ten months in Washington County . She explained many of the businesses were new, and the Chamber assisted them through the process to ensure they had all the proper licenses and permits, and also helped them with marketing to develop their revenue stream. She agreed language was an issue and there was a need to build bridges between existing businesses and these new services. She said building bridges between the cultures was very important.
Lorraine Clarno, President, Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, explained the Chamber currently had 652 members. She said the Chamber Board prioritized the need for the Chamber to reflect the diverse community of Beaverton . She said they had developed programs to ensure that diversity was reflected in everything from membership to community celebrations. She said they were working to make more progress on that goal.
Ham Thorne, Chair, Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, stated the Chamber was encouraging its minority members to introduce other Chamber members to their cultures.
There was general discussion on the need to include the students in these efforts, through education and involvement with the businesses. It was noted some first-generation business owners from these cultures also needed additional education, in the fields of computers and financial planning.
There was general discussion on the experiences of minority business owners in this area.
Mayor Drake thanked everyone for coming.
Tualatin Valley Housing Partners (Bridge Housing Corporation) Request for Fee Waiver
Coun. Doyle MOVED, SECONDED by Coun. Soth, that Council approve the fee waiver of up to $20,000.00 in building fees for the Bridge Housing Corporation to develop a 15-unit affordable housing project (per the memorandum to Council from Mayor Drake dated October 17, 2003). Couns. Bode, Doyle, Ruby, Stanton and Soth voting AYE, the MOTION CARRIED unanimously. (5:0)
The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Sue Nelson, City Recorder
Approved this 10th day of November, 2003.
Rob Drake, Mayor