Venture Portland Invests $34,000 in Neighborhood Business Districts for Spring and Summer Festivities

On April 4 Venture Portland awarded $34,000 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 websites and a generous district-wide day of giving – all with direct ties to the local economy. These grants will leverage an additional $223,905 in private business district investment – a nearly 7-to-1 match.

Venture Portland’s Grants Committee, comprised of Venture Portland Board members 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.

“Portland is a small business town, and the summer is the perfect time to “buy local.” said Commissioner Fish, City Council liaison to Venture Portland. “Whether it’s sitting on the patio at a local restaurant, exploring one of our vibrant business districts on a warm summer afternoon, or joining thousands of neighbors and visitors at our amazing street fairs, Portland loves small business.”

Many of the Spring/Summer grant projects focus on large-scale events that take advantage of Portlander’s desire to Venture Out during warm weather because business districts know shopping locally is more than just fun in the sun – for every $1 spent at a local business, 70% returns to the local economy.  A complete list of grant-funded activities is below:

Benchmark Grant Awards

  • Belmont – District Banners
  • Division/Clinton – District Map
  • Division/Midway – ‘Festival of Nations’ (September 17)
  • Historic Parkrose – ‘A Taste of Parkrose’ (June 25)
  • Midway – District Website
  • Mississippi Ave – Wayfinding Kiosks
  • Montavilla/East Tabor – Street Fair (July 31)
  • NE Broadway – ‘Summer Super Sale’ (July 15-17)
  • North/Northeast – ‘Excellence in Business Awards’ (April 28)
  • NW Indistrial – Membership Campaign
  • Parkrose  – District Website
  • Pearl District – ‘Pints in the Pearl’ (June 4)
  • Woodstock – ‘Woodstock Gives Back’ (September 13)


In FY15-16, Venture Portland awarded $70,120 to fund 25 projects in 20 business districts, leveraging an additional $331,530 in private investment, a nearly 5-to-1 match. Since 1995 Venture Portland has granted more than $1.2 million to fund 481 business district projects, leveraging more than $4.2 million in additional private investment in districts city wide. For more information about Venture Portland’s grants program visit