Venture Portland is the support organization for all of Portland’s neighborhood business districts, providing members funding, training and significant staff support. Since 1986 Venture Portland has helped business districts city-wide best meet the needs of their diverse communities. We invite you to discover the ways Venture Portland can support your business district by navigating this section and contacting us today.

Personalized Technical Assistance and Consulting Services

Call us! Last year we addressed 593 individual requests from business districts and provided 2,665 hours of assistance in areas including economic development, governance, membership, revenue and personnel.

  • NEW | District Demographic Data – provides access to district specific metrics and analysis
  • Fee-for-Service Consulting – expanded menu provides design, membership, staffing and strategic governance options with deeply discounted member prices (see Consulting Menu)
  • Annual Check-Up™ and Benchmarking Success™– helps associations implement best practices and prioritize activities with easy-to-use templates
  • Mentoring Connections – links business district leaders to discuss shared issues and best practices


Harness the power of Venture Portland’s advocacy efforts for your business district. Venture Portland has strong relationships with elected officials, bureau staff, opinion leaders and community stakeholders.

  • City Council provides direct support to neighborhood businesses and business districts

Current issues being watched on behalf of business districts include:

  • Livability and Public Safety – secured 20 new police officers in 2018; advocated for increased public safety services in neighborhood business districts
  • Street Closure Permits – secured an 86% reduction in parking removal rates for event closures and streamlined permit system; ensured all 2018 street fair permits were approved
  • Parking – represents neighborhood business district interests regarding parking management and Area Parking Permits
  • Holiday Construction Blackout (no permits issued) – protected retail sales with a City moratorium on construction/closure permits between Black Friday-Christmas
  • Human Resources – helped districts implement new state and city ordinances while mitigating unintended consequences (new overtime rules, minimum wage increases, Fair Scheduling, Sick Leave Ordinance, Ban the Box, Recreational Marijuana)
  • Zoning – represents district interests on zoning/design overlay, apartment building parking, non-conforming use and fees; advocated to maintain Industrial Sanctuaries/Employment land
  • Transportation and Freight Issues – promotes the efficient movement of goods and services from business districts to customers; safe and appropriate commercial corridor cycling infrastructure; business district walkability/pedestrian safety and Bureau of Transportation budget priorities

Grants and Emerging District Support

Apply for up to $23,000 per year! Build your bottom line through Venture Portland’s grants.

  • NEW | Destination Investment Grants – funds physical improvements that enhance customer/visitor experience, reinforce districts identity and promote district as destination
  • Catalytic Infrastructure / Staffing Grants – invest in first-time staffing or good governance
  • Benchmark Grants – provides tactical financial support for year-over-year growth
  • Economic Development Grants – provides strategic financial support to create and/or retain neighborhood businesses and jobs and grow business revenue
  • Grants Office Hours – provides grant planning, writing, implementation and evaluation support

Marketing and Promotion

Stretch your reach and your marketing dollars with Venture Portland’s coop ads, earned media and PR.

  • Earned Media – gets your district and its businesses in the news; in 2018 we secured 139 positive news stories highlighting neighborhood business districts
  • Annual Marketing Campaigns – ‘#pdxLOVESsmallbiz’ (Feb); ‘Portland Celebrates Small’ (May); ‘Summer Local’ (June–Sept); ‘Fall into Local’ (Oct); ‘Localize the Season’ (Nov–Jan) – promotes business district’s seasonal activities with easy-to-implement marketing materials

Online Media

Feature your events and activities on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our electronic newsletters distributed to more than 3,000 city stakeholders and Venture Portland supporters.

  • Business District Spotlight – profiles individual business districts with in-depth reporting
  • ‘Venture Out’ e-Newsletter – highlights district events and seasonal campaigns
  • Website – promotes districts with map and calendar featuring 1,200 district events; provides training tools and resources (
  • Social Media (com/VenturePortland;;; – promotes neighborhood businesses and business districts; in 2018, 438 social media posts highlighted 50 district events and 969 businesses
  • Strategic Partnerships – discounts for Emma, Portland Business Alliance and Travel Portland

Interest Groups

Connect with colleagues from business districts city wide during informal, peer-based conversations.

  • Officers Training (annual) – trains Officers and explains their legal responsibilities
  • President’s Council (quarterly) –connects Presidents with fellow district leaders
  • Treasurer’s Roundtable (quarterly) – connects Treasurers to share financial best practices
  • Staffers (quarterly) – creates peer network and increases staffing skills by sharing best practices

Trainings and Workshops

Attend 10 low-cost trainings and workshops (just $5/$10 each!), network with business district colleagues, address challenges, strengthen your programs and achieve success for your district and its businesses.

  • In-District Training – brings personalized training to your district (see Training Menu)
  • Workshops – dive deep into district identity, events and membership; develop action plans with hands-on coaching (see Course Catalog)
  • Trainings – learn best practices from local and national experts (see Course Catalog); easy-to-use templates and samples help business districts implement training information

Office Use

  • Mail Services – free district mail collection; avoid losing PO Box access
  • Low-cost Meeting Room – host events with up to 40 people
  • Corporate Document Storage – we will help you sort through your documents and offer a consistent archive location for key documents (bylaws, etc.) Locked storage also available
  • Business District Resource Library – books, guides, toolkits and best practice resources

Representation on Venture Portland’s Board of Directors

Shape the future of Venture Portland. Board delegates make critical decisions about Venture Portland’s priorities, finances, programs and services. Committee members provide expertise to Venture Portland’s programs and governance and leverage best practices to bring back to business districts.

Download Our Membership Form