Venture Portland Invests $43,500 in Neighborhood Business Districts During the Critical Holiday Season

This week Venture Portland awarded $43,500 to fund 19 Fall/Winter Grant Projects in Portland’s neighborhood business districts city wide. Projects range from retail-focused holiday events to dynamic district websites and first-time professional district staff – all with direct ties to the local economy. These grants will leverage an additional $116,672 in private business district investment – a nearly 3-to-1 match.

“The Grants Committee was incredibly excited to receive a record number of grant applications from business districts,” said Alison Stoll, Venture Portland’s Grants Committee Chair and Parkrose Business Association Delegate. “Districts city wide proposed some really imaginative projects and we can’t wait to see the positive impact these will have on the local economy.”

Venture Portland’s Grants Committee, comprised of Venture Portland Board members and community stakeholders, evaluated a record number of grant submissions to determine business district grant funding. In addition to bi-annual Benchmark grants, this highly competitive round included two brand new Catalytic funding streams – District Staffing Kickstarter grants and Corporate Infrastructure Improvement grants. Catalytic grants help business districts invest in ongoing, professional staff for the first time and implement systems to improve corporate governance while Benchmark grants 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 Matthew Micetic, Venture Portland’s Vice President and Foster Area Business Association Delegate. “The new Catalytic grants are a great addition that will help districts to improve stability and increase membership, business benefits and revenue.”

Many of the Fall/Winter grant projects focus on the exceedingly important holiday retail period, a time to ‘Localize the Season’ and support neighborhood businesses. Shopping locally also spreads holiday cheer – for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 returns to the local economy. A complete list of grant funded activities is below.

Benchmark Grant Awards

  • Foster Area – Enhanced Website
  • Greater Brooklyn – Membership Campaign
  • Hawthorne Blvd – New Website
  • Kenton – Shop Local Promotion (November 24-January 5)
  • Midway – Enhanced Website
  • NE Broadway – Health and Wellness Event (April 2018)
  • Nob Hill – District Rebrand
  • Parkrose – Membership Campaign
  • St. Johns – District Banners
  • Williams District – District Banners
  • Woodstock – Art Installation Trash Cans


NEW Catalytic Grant Awards

  • Beaumont – District Staffing Kickstarter
  • Foster Area – Corporate Infrastructure Improvement
  • NE Broadway – District Staffing Kickstarter
  • Nob Hill – District Staffing Kickstarter
  • Old Town – Corporate Infrastructure Improvement
  • Sellwood Moreland – District Staffing Kickstarter
  • Soul District – Corporate Infrastructure Improvement
  • Williams District – Corporate Infrastructure Improvement


In FY 16-17 Venture Portland awarded $96,000 to fund 34 projects in 20 business districts, leveraging an additional $521,837 in private investment, a more than 5-to-1 match. Since 1995 Venture Portland has granted more than $1.4 million to fund 519 business district projects, leveraging more than $4.7 million in additional private investment in districts city wide.