Applications open June 16, 2017 and first review will be August 1. After that date preliminary applications will be reviewed by Prosper Portland staff on a rolling, first-come first-serve basis until all spaces all filled, and evaluated based on the following criteria.
Priority Population business ownership. Prosper Portland is committed to supporting businesses led by owners from underrepresented populations, particularly women, people of color, and those from low-income neighborhoods. Priority will be given to local businesses (based in the Portland region) and businesses that align with Prosper Portland’s equity goals and other goals identified by the community.
Business Type. Prosper Portland conducted a market analysis and previously surveyed Lents community members to identify the types of services that are most desired and have the best potential for success. The list below summarizes some examples of uses with broad community support:
- Food service: coffee shop, restaurant, café
- Merchandise: hard and soft goods, pet supplies, apparel
- Entertainment: arts & family-oriented
- Personal Services: library, barber, salon, pet services
- Other: healthcare, wellness, fitness, yoga, daycare
Industry experience. Preference will be given to businesses that have been in operation for at least two years. However, new business owners or applicants with management experience in their industry of at least two to five years will also be considered. Resume or CV must be included as an attachment to the application.
Financial qualifications. Owners will need to demonstrate adequate financial resources to maximize their potential for success. This section requires providing a budget and describing access to financial resources for tenant improvement costs and working capital, such as individual development accounts, personal savings, family and friends loans and other financial resources.
In addition applicants will be evaluated based on tenant mix; uses will be evaluated based on their desirability within the community, potential for success, and compatibility with other uses in the district. Applicants for space in Oliver Station will be subject to approval by the project developer and owner, Palindrome Communities.
Applicants deemed to have met the program criteria will also be reviewed by an Affordable Retail Tenanting Advisory Committee made of community representatives with retail and small business expertise as well as representatives from community organizations that focus on small business development. The role of the Affordable Retail Tenanting Advisory Committee will be to:
- Ensure the potential tenants meet the business and business owner criteria;
- Ensure that uses and/or services meet project and community goals;
- Ensure that the business is viable and has an appropriate level of financial support.