Venture Portland Awards $29,700 to 12 Neighborhood Business Districts for Spring and Summer Activities

This week Venture Portland awarded $29,700 to fund 12 Spring/Summer Grant Projects in Portland’s neighborhood business districts city wide. Projects range from family-friendly events to dynamic district websites and visitor-oriented maps – all with direct ties to the local economy. These grants will leverage an additional $94,446 in private business district investment – a more than 3-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 Catalytic projects. Benchmark grants focus on tactical achievements to build strong, vibrant and financially stable business districts, while Catalytic grants help business districts invest in ongoing, professional staff for the first time and implement systems to improve corporate governance.

“Spring in Portland is a special time, and we all have our favorite activities. For me, it’s walking to local businesses and eating outside at my favorite restaurants,” said Commissioner Fish, City Council liaison to Venture Portland. “Portland really is a small business town, home to our 50 vibrant business districts. They each feature delicious things to eat and drink, interesting art galleries, unique places to shop, and exciting entertainment for the whole family.”

Several 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. A complete list of grant-funded activities is below:

Benchmark Grant Awards

  • Beaumont – Directory Kiosks
  • Division/Clinton – District Map
  • Foster Area – District Map
  • Gateway – ‘Cruising Gateway’ (June 30)
  • Kenton – District Map
  • Montavilla/East Tabor – District Map
  • NE Broadway – District Map
  • Nob Hill – New Website
  • Sellwood Moreland – New Website
  • Williams District – ‘Walk Williams’ (May-October)

Catalytic Grant Awards

  • 82nd Avenue – Corporate Infrastructure Improvement
  • Lloyd – District Staffing Kickstarter


In FY 17-18 Venture Portland awarded $99,450 to fund 39 projects in 19 business districts, leveraging an additional $257,508 in private investment, a nearly 3-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 city wide