May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

What we do

MERCATUS IS A BUSINESS DIRECTORY AND STORY ARCHIVE THAT ELEVATES THE UNIQUE AND UNIVERSAL NARRATIVES OF ENTREPRENEURS OF COLOR IN PORTLAND AND CONNECTS THE CITY AND REGION WITH LOCAL TALENTS, BUSINESSES, SERVICES AND PRODUCTS THAT COME FROM DIVERSE ENTREPRENEURS.

Spend Local, Be Intentional

WE ALL CRAVE VARIETY, BUT WHEN WE SPEAK OF A THRIVING INCLUSIVE ECONOMY, WHAT DO WE REALLY MEAN? 

Too often the stories of thriving businesses owned by people of color come to us in a cultural vacuum or are reduced to tokenism and outliers.  

Most of the time when we hear about vibrant bootstrapping entrepreneurs in Portland, Oregon it’s the “dominant” culture sharing their stories and aspirations in isolation of the “other.”  

We rarely see ethnically diverse entrepreneurs sharing their anthems, struggles, and best practices. Yet today, more than ever, that is what we require to remain competitive and reflect the shifting demographics of aemerging tapestry of innovators, small business owners and creators.

Mercatus Business Members

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

To celebrate we are officially launching our latest Mercatus shopping guide called, #ShopAAPIPDX. This adorable design was crafted by our beloved Mercatus members Sooj and Jef. They create positive energy through art and design and had this to say about the inspiration behind the #ShopAAPI graphic:

“We wanted to portray the broadness of what defines an AAPI business. AAPI as a term represents a multitude of experiences and voices which makes it so rich and impossible to tie down. We wanted to represent imagery that plays on nostalgia by color and line weight and move away from the “orientalist” depictions of the past. Together as artists, we constantly explore the simplicity of colors and shapes and the emotional impact those qualities will create. Our ultimate goal is to bring about positive energy through our artwork wherever it is seen.”- Sooj and Jef

Shop AAPI Banner

Join the Mercatus Community and gain access to opportunities and resources for your business

My People's Market

Held twice a year in partnership with Travel Portland, My People’s Market is the marketplace of the future featuring Mercatus businesses.

Mercatus Stories

Your business and story can reach new audiences through the Mercatus Magazine, seasonal campaigns and guides, and the Story Collective

Mercatus Connect

Receive a weekly digest of new business jobs, contracts, and opportunities in partnership with Portland Means Progress and 100+ private sector partners committed to intentional purchasing. 

Picture Day

On the third Thursday of the month Mercatus is excited to host Picture Day. Get a professional headshot or professional product photo that represents your business

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Paloma Medina, 11:11 Supply

“I'm a Mercatus Member because the more that we as BIPOC business owners know of each other, the more that we can support each other and collaborate. It also feels really important to support an organization that keeps BIPOC business owners at the forefront so that we can be positive examples for our own and other communities that entrepreneurship is possible for all.  

 
One of the many benefits of Mercatus membership is hearing how many new customers found us through the Mercatus magazine or the online directory. This means we're not just growing our brand awareness, we're growing it in a way that is aligned with our own business values and the kind of community we want to be a part of - one that is inclusive, supportive and equitable to all.”  

Jenifer Rose Marie Serna, Wapato Island Farms

"I’m a member of Mercatus because I believe in the importance of sharing honorable systems of economy and resources.  It is a relief knowing there is an organization that connects our city to diverse businesses and builds community for mutual support and awareness.

Very appreciative for all the effort that has gone into creating Mercatus. I have experienced many benefits from, support with social media workshops, as well as being called to engage with my commuity in a more elevated way by being on phone calls with the city of P, becoming a board member for important food equity programs, and being profiled in the Mercatus magazine and featured in an advertising small business commercial.  Such an honor!” 

Jamaal Hale, Good Green

I believe in the power of community, and Mercatus has provided my company with a presence in the community as a valuable resource.   
As a member of the Mercatus community I have gained new clients which has led to an increase of sales and revenue. 

See What We Do

Become a Mercatus Member Today!

As a Mercatus Member, you are joining hundreds of other racially and ethnically diverse business owners. Collectively the Mercatus community is elevating a vibrant and multicultural narrative of business ownership. As a member, your business can benefit from greater exposure, new business leads, and community wealth building opportunities.

Mercatus has partnered with Travel Portland, Portland Means Progress, and the City of Portland to elevate the directory which receives hundreds of visitors each month. With membership tiers for everyone, businesses of all sizes are encouraged to join!

While thinking of this issue’s theme of “Sustaining Greatness,” I was pulled to the inherent way entrepreneurs of color give back to the community, and the fact that so many BIPoC-owned businesses choose to share the resources and abundance they work for to support and uplift others on a daily basis. This legacy of care is fundamental to Brown and Black communities in business and in life, and it’s what sets us apart from dominant culture economics.

– Emmeline Eao, Mercatus Magazine Editor

Mercatus Magazine vol. 2

Sustaining Greatness

Mercatus Magazine tells a more complete story of Portland, Oregon, inclusive of diverse communities, businesses, art, and culture. The Magazine acknowledges the different histories of communities of color in Portland, including Native Americans, and the many areas of Portland where gentrification led to the displacement of marginalized populations and specifically the Black community.

Artwork by Savina Monet