Benchmark Grants

Benchmark grants, distributed twice a year, help business districts meet key milestones to build strong, vibrant and financially stable business district associations. These small, semiannual grants (up to $3,500 each) are available in the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter cycles. Grant funds must be matched with private investment (cash or in-kind goods and services). Funding is given to business districts applying for benchmarks not yet achieved.

Using a set of benchmarks to build strong and vibrant business district associations, Venture Portland contributes to the city’s five-year Neighborhood Economic Development goal that 80% of Portland’s volunteer-run neighborhood business associations are successfully contributing to a strong neighborhood economy. Benchmark achievement is one of Venture Portland’s long-term strategic priorities, with a goal of 100 benchmarks achieved by neighborhood business districts before the conclusion of FY 16-17. Success may be measured by organizational and financial health of the organization, as well as neighborhood business vacancy rates and the overall economic health of the district. Business districts may apply for continued funding until the benchmark is achieved. These strategic funds may then be dedicated to achieving additional priorities. The 8 benchmarks are as follows (*priority benchmarks):

 Benchmark Grant Application, Guidelines and Resources