It's Not the Shambling Mess You Might Have Expected!
In April the Supportland/ADX collaboration Portland Made launched. It's a truly excellent, if complicated to explain, concept, so to quote myself back when my interview with Kelly Roy of ADX was still fresh in my mind:
It's an online hub that ultimately aims to include every single product that is manufactured in Portland (not just tea towels and stationary but mattresses, bikes, and eventually food products), where visitors to the site can browse maker profiles, connect with retailers, and even purchase items for later pickup. It's also a quasi-social networking service for its makers, designers, retails, and manufacturers to ask and field questions, pool resources, and form mutually beneficial partnerships... One of the most exciting things they are doing is pairing with researchers at PSU to create metrics tracking the job creation powers of local manufacturing, creating numbers that they can then bring to decision-makers in local and state government, with the idea of collecting evidence for the argument that the economic health of our community doesn't just live and die at the hands of biggies like Vestas and Adidas.
As you can see from my condescending bolding, that last bit is particularly tantalizing to me. But if you are currently occupied—as an individual or company—in making, manufacturing and/or retailing, registration is currently free. But it probably won't be forever, so...