By Taxpayer Association of Oregon
In another sign of Portland businesses in distress, celebrated JaCiva’s Chocolatier & Bakery announced it will be closing its doors after 37 years in business. The Portland-born store had won over 50 awards around the world.Owners of the bakery in the SE Hawthorne neighborhood say that they took a big hit during COVID and also cited increased crime as one of their reasons for closing. A crime wave severely hit the Hawthorne neighborhood where their shop is located. Some small shops had vehicles ram their storefronts at night followed by thieves looting the store. It is hard to safeguard a business against this type of criminality.
The landmark bakery was a pillar in the community, providing wedding cakes, special desserts, and other confections that helped make life a little sweeter.
The tourism group Travel Portland told the Portland City Council that Portland’s hospitality industry is “in crisis”. They said room bookings are down 20% from 2019 levels and have not bounced back after COVID. They blamed criminal activity like shootings, open drug use and drug dealing for the decline in tourism.
The Portland City Council passed an emergency ordinance banning the use of hard drugs on public property. However, the city can’t enforce the ban unless the Oregon Legislature acts to change current state law overturning Measure 110, which decriminalized the use of small amounts of illicit drugs.
Two ballot measures were just filed that would aim to “fix” measure 110 if the legislature doesn’t act. You can read about what they would do here. Oregon needs to do something to stop the crime and drug spree plaguing our communities and businesses.