Venture Portland Awards $29,000 to Neighborhood Business Districts for Spring and Summer Activities

This week, Venture Portland awarded $29,000 to fund 9 Spring/Summer Grant Projects in Portland’s neighborhood business districts citywide. Projects range from family-friendly events to shopping promotions and visitor-oriented maps – all with direct ties to the local economy. These grants will leverage an additional $115,841 in private business district investment – a 4-to-1 match.

Venture Portland’s Grants Committee, comprised of Venture Portland Board members and community stakeholders, evaluated grant submissions to determine business district grant funding. This highly competitive round of grants funded Benchmark and Economic Development projects. Benchmark grants focus on tactical achievements to build strong, vibrant and financially stable business districts, while Economic Development grants focus on creating or retaining jobs, growing neighborhood business revenue and creating new businesses.

“Spring in Portland is a special time, and we all have our favorite activities. For me, it’s walking to local businesses and eating at my favorite local restaurants,” said Commissioner Fish, City Council liaison to Venture Portland. “Portland is a small business town, home to our 50 vibrant business districts. They are what make our city a special place to live and work.”

Several of the Spring/Summer grant projects are large-scale events that will give Portlanders even more reasons to Venture Out during warm weather. But shopping locally is more than just fun in the sun – it’s a way for Portlanders to support the small businesses that strengthen the livability and character of the neighborhoods they call home. In fact, small businesses donate to local causes at more than twice the rate of national chains.

A complete list of grant-funded activities is below:

Benchmark Grant Awards

  • Division/Clinton – District Map
  • Foster Area – District Map
  • Gateway – ‘Cruising Gateway’ Event (September)
  • Kenton – ‘Paul Bunyan’s Big Bash’ Celebration (May 19)
  • Lloyd – Welcome Basket and Coupon Booklet Promotion
  • NE Broadway – ‘Makin’ it Local on Broadway’ Promotion (September 23-30)
  • St. Johns – Electronic Marquee Signs
  • Williams District – ‘Walk Williams’ Events (May-September)

Economic Development Grant Award

  • Historic Parkrose – Public Safety Plan

In FY 18-19 Venture Portland awarded $117,168 to fund 29 projects in 16 business districts, leveraging an additional $248,575 in private investment, a more than 2-to-1 match. Since 1995 Venture Portland has granted more than $1.5 million to fund 558 business district projects, leveraging more than $5 million in additional private investment in districts citywide