Support a more inclusive Portland. Check out the Mercatus BIPOC Business Directory
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 an emerging tapestry of innovators, small business owners and creators.
Mercatus Business Members
AANHPI Heritage Month
May. 1 – May 31
“While I was flipping through the directory of AANHPI businesses, I felt really inspired by the themes of passion & creativity. It takes courage to lean into your creativity as a living, especially as AANHPI folks. We are making ourselves unapologetically visible, leading with our POVs, & expanding our perceptions of who we are as a collective & as individuals. I wanted to depict diverse characters with distinct styles immersed in their passions.” – Jax Ko, Artist
About the Artist:
Jax Ko is a first-gen Korean-American non-binary femme artist based in Portland, Oregon. They’re a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, muralist, stylist, and, in their own words, “professional crybaby.” After dropping out of fashion school in San Francisco, they moved to Portland to finish their BFA in Illustration/Design Arts at Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Their illustrative work is cheeky + thoughtful; playful + emotive. They are a color freak. They very much enjoy creating characters with dope ass outfits & cute butts. They bring their unique POV into their work by exploring themes of identity, individuality, community, & belonging. Jax has worked with ACLU Oregon, Portland Mercury, Willamette Week, Bitch Magazine, Next Up Oregon, Portland Trailblazers, Portland Parks Foundation, & many small local businesses.
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.
Your business and story can reach new audiences through the Mercatus Magazine, seasonal campaigns and guides, and the Story Collective
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.
Mercatus is excited to bring Picture Day to our members. Get a professional headshot or professional product photo that represents your business.
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
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