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‘Be Here for Portland’ Campaign Asks Shoppers to Stay Local

Artists, athletes, musicians, business boosters, and celebs encourage Portlanders to take their love to town—or rather, spend their dollars in town.

By Margaret Seiler

Want to spend a few minutes with some local notables as they do endearing things like cuddle dogs, don face masks, and show their love for the Blazers? And all this while encouraging Portlanders to spend their money locally, whether it’s for clothes, gifts, takeout, restaurant gift certificates, books, comics, records, or—as hip-hop artist Aminé is surprised to find himself suggesting—blankets? This week, the Portland Business Alliance kicked off an initiative called Here for Portland with a three-and-a-half-minute video with local celebs from the worlds of food, sports, comics, music, and more, created by North in partnership with Prosper Portland, Travel Portland, and others.

Even if you’re not generally rah-rah on capitalism, and even if your coworker isn’t among the speakers (disclosure: the video features Portland Monthly style editor Eden Dawn, whose nail polish side hustle, Claws Out, raises money for progressive causes, and whose husband works at North but was not a part of this project—but still, this could have conflict-of-interest written all over it, am I right?), chances are you’ll spot someone whose music you’ve listened to, writing you’ve read, sports feats you’ve celebrated, or food you’ve craved.

In addition to Aminé and Dawn, here are some of the locals making their case:

  • Hedwig creator and Shrill actor John Cameron Mitchell, who sports an "I only bottom in Portland" shirt
  • Wildfang CEO Emma Mcilroy, who asks that shoppers not “go to the jungle” every time they need to buy something
  • Zach Carothers and Jason Sechrist of Portugal. The Man, who remind us that “pandemics can’t kill creativity”
  • Monica Hasek of Pistils Nursery, who offers some easy-enough-to-follow instructions: "come in, buy a plant"
  • Kome Jean Pierre Nugloze of N’Kossi Boutique, whose jacket I kind of wish I were wearing
  • Timbers star and future statue subject Diego Valeri, who offers support in both English and Spanish
  • New Thorn and longtime national team soccer star Becky Sauerbrunn, who appears with her cat
  • Peter Cho, Han Oak chef and co-owner, who notes that “gift certificates are a great way to support restaurants right now”
  • Grant High football legend Ndamukong Suh, who points out that we're lucky to be in a city with “so many unique places to shop”
  • Tamale Boy owner and guac whisperer Jaime Soltero Jr., who responsibly rocks a mask for the duration of his appearance
  • Menbe Egigu and Ytbarek of Ethiopian restaurant Enat Kitchen, who ask us to “eat local”
  • Musician Dave Depper, who must have taken a break from fighting the good fight with Stacey Abrams to give a shout-out to Music Millennium
  • Naomi comics writer and former Willamette Week movie critic David F. Walker, who plugs Southeast shop Books With Pictures
  • Novelist Chelsea Cain, who appears to be the caretaker of a witch’s estate and who reminds us that a locally purchased gift is a gift to both the recipient and the store
  • TV writer, foodie, and PoMo burger cabal member Bill Oakley, who recorded his bit at a food cart pod at SE Powell and 36th (and not, as I thought for a moment, on the set of the 1984 Bill Forsyth film Comfort and Joy)
  • Wild author Cheryl Strayed, who speaks in front of a painting that might be about to come to life
  • Emily Katz of Modern Macramé, who speaks in front of a bunch of rope that might also be about to come to life
  • Home-grown former Blazer and fan favorite Damon Stoudamire, who asks us to support Black-owned businesses, especially
  • Musician and activist Logan Lynn, whose layers look is really something
  • Loretta Guzman of Bison Coffeehouse, who says shopping local also helps businesses support each other
  • Oregonian beer writer Andre Meunier, who notes that local breweries are even doing home delivery


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