Venture Portland Awards $50,000 to Support Holiday Activities and Staffing in Business Districts

Portland is home to more than 23,000 small businesses that provide over 300,000 jobs, the majority of which continue to recover post-pandemic. As part of its biannual grants program,  Venture Portland awarded $50,000 to fund eleven Fall/Winter grant projects in member business districts citywide during the critical holiday season. These funds will help member business district associations create a merry and bright atmosphere for holiday shoppers with public art, lighting, decorations, and family-friendly activities.

Venture Portland’s Grants Committee, comprised of small business owners and representatives from partner organizations RACC and Bricks Need Mortar, evaluated grant submissions to determine business district grant funding. “One of the great joys I have is serving on the Venture Portland Grant’s Committee,” said Grants Chair, and co-owner of Cargo, Bridgid Blackburn. “It’s so rewarding to be able to fund programs and lift up communities all around the city. This grant cycle will energize and unite Portland’s neighborhoods this winter, at an essential time for small business and the unique districts in which they are located.

This highly competitive round of grants prioritized projects that would have the greatest impact on small businesses located in all of the City’s geographic quadrants. The application process began during the summer months and Venture Portland staff were available to assist with grantwriting and project planning. The response was overwhelming, and the Grants Committee was forced to get creative to fund as many projects as possible.

“Venture Portland is incredibly excited to continue providing grant funds to our member business district associations,” said Executive Director, Joy Church. “Thanks to the consistent commitment of Mayor Wheeler and Prosper Portland, we were, once again, able to award dollars to aid small businesses in their long road to recovery by funding meaningful projects that benefit our great City. I look forward to seeing these grants in action!”

“Venture Portland’s Business District Grant Program is doing vital work to support local businesses and Portland’s economic recovery, and I’m pleased to offer my continued support. Small businesses are the heart of what make Portland unique and are the epitome of our City’s character,” Mayor Wheeler said.

To further support member business district associations, Venture Portland regularly hosts webinars for small business owners on topics such as event planning, business promotion, board operations, and more. The newly launched Events Hub provides one-on-one support to businesses and districts as they plan seasonal events. To stay in the know about the latest happenings in business districts, subscribe to Venture Portland’s weekly e-newsletters and follow them on Instagram.

A complete list of grant-funded activities is below: