The Mercatus Story

Mercatus 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 the ethnically diverse entrepreneurs in the city.


Mercatus grows with its community. It took a village to launch Mercatus in 2016 and it continues to thrive on the voices and perspectives of many. Early collaborators include Joy Alise Davis and her team at Design + Culture Lab, who led the charge in designing and launching the Mercatus website 1.0 and cultivating a team of storytellers for the Story Collective. Tamara Kennedy-Hill and Michelle Comer at Travel Portland were early supporters, introducing the Mercatus Directory to the tourism industry and were founding partners in launching My People’s Market.


Mercatus is committed to elevating diverse businesses of Portland; listening to the needs of members; and honoring the whole stories and histories of our community. We strive to continually find new ways to connect businesses with growth opportunities and resources to overcome inequities. 

Mercatus Staff

Mercatus founder
project manager
project manager