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Small Business Profile: Float On

Saturday, August 01, 2015


Photo credit: Chris Franklin

In the midst of Hawthorne’s unique boutiques, coffee shops and exotic eateries lies a storefront that is unusual even by Portland standards. Float On HQ is a float tank facility that operates 6 sensory deprivation tanks open for use 24 hours a day 6 days a week; 7am - 1pm Mondays. Float? Deprivation? If I have lost you, let me explain. In 1954 neuroscientist John Lilly set out to create an environment free of sensory input, allowing the subjects' primal urges and stress responses to quell their influence on their state of being.

Over time the health benefits of sensory reduced environments have become abundantly clear.  They've also seen commercial success in niche markets. This brings us to today. Float on HQ boasts itself to be the largest float tank center in the United States. A quickly implemented business strategy established by owners Graham & Quinn developed into a passion-fueled small business inspired to share the float experience amongst the community. Why should floating be shared amongst our community, you ask? Let me tell you about my experience at Float On.


First, I set an appointment through their website at floathq.com. When I show up to the appointment, I have the luxury of choosing between two float pools, which is perfect, as being a 6'5'' tall man I need the room to stretch out. I rinse off in the provided shower (which is located in the same room) and then jump in the densely concentrated epsom salt bath and immediately float to the surface. The light is conveniently controlled by a large button within arm's reach of the pool. Lights out! I sit in silence floating above water in complete darkness.

Photo credit: Chris Franklin

I feel my breath slow, I start to move assessing my surrounding like a baby in a womb. I stop when I am comfortable and immediately my thoughts unravel. I can feel the effects of my new environment take hold as my mind is finally allotted the ability to think without distraction. My focus moves from day to day stresses to month long ambitions and before I know it I am reliving moments from high school and childhood with a sweeping feeling of tranquility as the thoughts get deeper. The whole process feels like moments but before I know it my 90 minutes has passed and I awaken to a gentle melody playing over the loud speakers.

Back to Reality

As you leave your float tank you may experience a floating feeling similar to the one you get when you step off of a treadmill after a long run. This feeling lasted a few days for me. The effects also included a blissful grin that could not be erased from my face. Suffice it to say I enjoyed my experience at Float on HQ and appreciate the hard work and efforts by the Float On staff to make this the most luxurious experience it could be. I encourage you to stop by and get your float on.

Wanderer by nature, explorer by trade. Chris Franklin is attracted to the unique and overlooked. His ambition is to showcase what may lay off the beaten path. A love of small business and creative craft guide his path as he continues to discover Portland, Oregon. Follow his journey at LostNPortland.com.


Related Slideshow: Oregon Business Rankings in US

See how Oregon stacked up against the other states in the U.S.

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Oregon gets a C+ for small business friendliness from Thumbtack, in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation.

According to the ranking:

Overall friendliness C+

Ease of starting a business B
Ease of hiring D+
Regulations D
Health & safety D
Employment, labor & hiring D
Tax code D+
Licensing C-
Environmental D
Zoning D+
Training & networking programs B+

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CEO Magazine

CEO magazine was not kind to Oregon.

The state ranked in the bottom ten states at #42.

Oregon get lumped by CEO's as being California like - too much regulation.

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The 2015 rankings puts Oregon in the top 20. Oregon ranks #18 in the United States. 

NY ranks one spot ahead at #17 and Florida ranks after Oregon.

#1 in the United States: Utah

#50 in the United States: Mississippi

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Oregon has been ranked as the 2nd most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub

Oregon ranks eighth in environmental quality and first in Eco-Friendly Behaviors landing them in second overall. 

Oregon is behind Vermont and ahead of New York and Minnesota who land in the third and fourth spots respectively. 

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The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: C+

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Oregon is one of 4 states that earned a "C+"

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

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#22 CNBC

CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

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Wallet Hub

#28 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

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#38 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Ranking Here

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#19 Forbes in 2014

Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects.

Read More About Forbes Rankings Here


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