Loss of revenue for Portland.
Via Fox News:
Columbia Sportswear may be the next business to flee downtown Portland after a series of frightening encounters with the city’s homeless population, including car break-ins, human waste dumped by the office’s front door and threats to its employees.
In an op-ed piece published earlier this month by The Oregonian, Columbia Sportswear President and CEO Tim Boyle said he is concerned he made a mistake when he opened a headquarters for the company’s Sorel footwear brand downtown, calling the situation “outrageous and unacceptable.”
“In fact, I am so concerned about the safety of our employees at the Sorel headquarters that we are taking the next 90 days to re-evaluate our location decision,” Boyle wrote.
Since moving the 50 employees downtown, workers immediately reported being harassed and threatened by homeless individuals near the new offices.
“A few days ago, one of our employees had to run into traffic when a stranger outside our office followed her and threatened to kill her,” he wrote. “On other occasions our employees have arrived at work only to be menaced by individuals camping in the doorway.”
Besides face-to-face encounters, employees have also been the target of so many car break-ins the company has started to refer to parking downtown as its “laptop donor program,” according to Boyle.
Given these experiences, it is a relief when the only thing we are dealing with is the garbage and human waste by our front door. Think about that for a minute,” he wrote.
For some small business owners in the City of Roses, the increasing homeless population has already proved to be too much to handle.
Judith Arnell told FOX12 Oregon earlier this month the decision to close her business, Judith Arnell Jewelers, came from a mix of panhandling and concerns over the safety of her employees and clients.
“It’s very difficult to do business here right now. Our customers are afraid to come in,” she said.
Arnell has been doing business in Portland for more than 20 years, but the dramatic decrease in sales as the homeless population has grown has sent her packing. A few months ago, the store’s surveillance cameras caught a man defecating right in front of their doors.