Press Release- Portland Mercado receives boost from federal, corporate awards

Date: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nathan Teske, Director of Community Economic Development

(503) 459-7725 / nteske@haciendacdc.org

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Hacienda Community Development Corporation announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and JPMorgan Chase in support of the Portland Mercado project. The public-private partnership provides critical funding for Portland’s first Latino public market.

The HHS grant will provide $788,673 to rehabilitate a building and site that will house the Mercado, representing almost half of the funding Hacienda needs to develop the Mercado. Hacienda was one of 38 projects nationwide selected for this grant, the purpose of which is to create jobs for low-income individuals and provide access to healthy, affordable food in underserved communities.

The $40,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase supports key pieces of the Mercado predevelopment process. It allows Hacienda to provide training for market vendors, and to administer the competitive selection process to choose the team that will design and build the Mercado.

“The Mercado project will give budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their own small businesses – creating jobs in the process— while providing the neighborhood and the community much-needed access to healthier foods. By offering fresh meats, vegetables and other staple foods, Mercado businesses will improve their local economy and the quality of life for local residents,” remarked U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a supporter of the project along with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici. “JPMorgan is excited to support Hacienda’s Mercado project. We were impressed by way the partnership seamlessly integrated two funding streams and two important phases of the project,” added Brian Stewart, Vice President and Community Relations Officer at JPMorgan Chase. Other key supporters of the project include Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Director of the Portland Development Commission Patrick Quinton, all Multnomah County Commissioners, and Oregon State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer.

Projected to open in the summer of 2014, the Portland Mercado will be the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, making it a landmark cultural institution for the Latino community. In addition to supporting the creation of nearly 50 new jobs, the Mercado will provide a healthy food outlet to a community suffering from low access.

“We are extremely grateful for these awards, and thrilled to see the Mercado gain supporters from multiple sectors of the economy,” said Victor Merced, executive director at Hacienda CDC. “This partnership underscores the importance of our project and its potential to be transformative for the Latino population here in Portland.”