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Community Development Profiles

Making Tigard Small-Business-Friendly One Entrepreneur at a Time Staff Profile Photo: Dylan Dekay-Bemis
Profile: Dylan Dekay-Bemis

Six months into his position Tigard’s Economic Development Coordinator, Dylan Dekay-Bemis, wondered if local entrepreneurs with great ideas had the tools to turn their dreams a reality. Knowing that starting a small business can be overwhelming, he created a step-by-step guide to help new businesses get started.

1. Tell me about your job, what’s a typical day like?
A typical day consists of one-on-one meetings with the hardworking local business owners that make Tigard thrive. These meetings allow me to build relationships and learn more about their needs. I also manage Tigard’s business incentive programs and a major infrastructure project off Hunziker Street, which will lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs for local residents.

2. Why did you create the “10 Steps to Starting a Small Business” guide?
I talk with a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs who have great ideas but are unsure of how to turn their vision into a viable business. This guide simplifies the daunting process of starting a new business by providing a clear roadmap. Information on the city’s accompanying webpage also includes resources on support services for women- and minority-owned businesses, which can spur entrepreneurism in underrepresented segments of the business community.

3. How do your efforts help the people/businesses here in Tigard?
We connect local business owners with the tools they need to start, grow and succeed. Many city programs create incentives to ensure high-growth companies stay and grow in Tigard, rather than move to a new market. This helps to create new jobs for local residents and improves the city’s tax base.

4. What would you like to see in the near future?
I am excited about big changes coming to the area off Hunziker Street later this year. Infrastructure projects in that area will kick-start construction of industrial space that will be filled by new businesses and create more jobs for residents. I’m also looking forward to a starting a project that will highlight and market Tigard’s tourist attractions to visitors in the Portland region and beyond. Did you know that Tigard is the indoor recreation capital of Oregon?

Ken Ross, Code ComplianceKen Ross, Code Compliance
Working with Student Volunteers to Make a Difference

As of September 20, 2017, the City of Tigard had 200 active nuisance complaints with its code compliance section.

With this many active cases, not all property owners can resolve the issues filed against them. Consider the case of two longtime Tigard residents. In July, the couple’s property was cited for nuisance violations. The complaints concerned a potential fire hazard of high weeds and tall grass, trash, junk, debris and an overgrowth of vegetation that can be a breeding ground for insects and rodents. When code compliance officer Ken Ross investigated, he learned the property owners were elderly, disabled and unable to clean the property to bring it up to compliance.

The owners wanted to set things right, but were unsure they had the resources and asked for assistance to address the problems. In response, Ross called the Washington County Disability, Aging and Veterans Services on their behalf. Together they organized a group of student volunteers from Pacific University willing to help. In October, the student volunteers removed the high weeds and tall grass, reduced the vegetation and cleared out all trash, junk and debris on the property. Washington County provided a portable toilet for volunteers on their service day.

“This is the first time I’ve been involved with volunteers assisting Tigard residents to resolve a code compliance issue,” said Ross. “It’s wonderful to see and I hope it won’t be the last.”

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