Venture Portland Awards $29,500 to 13 Neighborhood Business Districts for Spring and Summer Festivities

On March 29, Venture Portland awarded $29,500 to fund 13 Spring/Summer Grant Projects in Portland’s neighborhood business districts city wide. Projects range from retail-focused street fairs to dynamic business district maps and a family-friendly fun run and obstacle course – all with direct ties to the local economy. These grants will leverage an additional $337,458 in private business district investment – a more than 11-to-1 match.

Venture Portland’s Grants Committee, comprised of Portland small business owners and community stakeholders, evaluated competitive grant submissions to determine business district grant funding. This round of grants funded Benchmark projects that focus on tactical achievements to build strong, vibrant and financially stable business districts.

“Venture Portland’s grants stimulate neighborhood economic development in real time,” said Alison Stoll, Venture Portland’s Grants Committee Chair and Parkrose Business Association Delegate. “It’s incredible to see the immediate positive impact the grants have on our local economy.”

Many of the Spring/Summer grant projects focus on 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 and in 2016 Portland’s non-profit business associations donated more than $100,000 to charities city wide. A complete list of grant-funded activities is below:

Benchmark Grant Awards

  • Beaumont – ‘Dash to Doughnuts’ (June 25)
  • Central Eastside Industrial – District Map
  • Foster Area – District Map
  • Historic Parkrose – ‘A Taste of Parkrose’ (June 24)
  • Midway – District Visitor’s Guide
  • Montavilla/East Tabor – Street Fair (July 30)
  • Multnomah Village – Placemaking Infrastructure
  • NE Broadway – Strong Membership Strategy
  • North/Northeast – ‘Greenlighting Black Lives Matter’
  • Old Town Chinatown – Strong Membership Strategy
  • Pearl District – ‘Pints in the Pearl’ (June 3)
  • Stadium District – District Map
  • Williams District – District Map


In FY 16-17, Venture Portland awarded $91,750 to fund 32 projects in 19 business districts, leveraging an additional $534,610 in private investment, a nearly 6-to-1 match. Since 1995 Venture Portland has granted $1.4 million to fund 519 business district projects, leveraging more than $4.7 million in additional private investment in districts city wide. For more information about Venture Portland’s grants program visit