Prosperity Investment Program (PIP)

Contact: Nixie Stark, email or 503-823-0465

The Prosperity Investment Program provides tax increment finance (TIF) resources in line with local community action plans and Prosper Portand’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan to make small-scale real property improvements and to deliver business and development-focused technical assistance.

PIP Grant Overview

Program investments are awarded using social equity goals and managed to maximize public benefit. Investments are targeted to deliver outcomes unlikely to occur without the resources.
PIP Grants are awarded to support business competitiveness and/or property redevelopment in projects that meet at least one of the following public goals:

  • Secure access to high quality employment for Portlanders,
  • Foster wealth creation for people of color and within low-income neighborhoods,
  • Build healthy communities in line with local community action plans.

Availability of Funds: The Program provides 50 percent matching funds for approved project hard and soft costs. Total grant may not exceed $50,000. In limited cases, a grant may be approved by the Executive Director up to $75,000 and/or at 75 percent matching funds.

Funds are subject to budget availability. The Program may be targeted to specific geographic areas or priority populations as needed to meet the Prosper Portland 2015-2020 Strategic Plan and community action plans. Some program incentives may not be available in all areas or for all eligible applicants.

In order to provide benefits to the widest range of eligible recipients, a grant recipient or property may only receive one PIP grant within a 10-year period.

Eligible Work: The grant may be used for both physical improvement (hard costs) and eligible consulting assistance (soft costs) to support for-profit related business and property related improvements associated with commercial, industrial, mixed-use, and market rate housing projects.

Hard Costs – Signage, lighting, storefront, or mechanical systems, tenant improvements, roofs, sidewalks, parking lots, landscaping, or other permanent fixtures.

Soft Costs – Project development services such as architectural, engineering, legal, environmental, market or financial, and business technical assistance such as manufacturing efficiency, business plan development, marketing, accounting, and legal. Grant funds for soft costs may not exceed $25,000. Prosper Portland, at its sole discretion, may require use of a professional consultant for certain projects and where such advice is likely to improve the project or business competitiveness.

Ineligible Work: The following uses are not eligible to receive Grant funding given funding restrictions and Grant purpose:

  • Non-permanent fixtures, personal property and equipment, government uses within publicly owned buildings
  • National franchises
  • Locally owned franchises with more than three locations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Businesses that exclude minors during all business hours
  • In limited cases grants may be sanctioned for one of these uses with Director approval.

Approvals: Prosper Portland has the sole authority to determine eligibility of proposed work and confirmation of completed work. Certain work may be required or precluded as a condition of funding. Participants will be responsible for obtaining necessary regulatory approvals, including those of the City Design and Landmark Commissions where applicable, the State Historic Preservation Office, the City of Portland building permits and any other necessary permits. All work must comply with city, state and federal regulations.

Bidding: Grantee shall utilize certified Minority or Women Owned firms to perform 20% or more of the project work by cost. The Grantee may only be released in whole or in part from this requirement by demonstrating that: 1) There are no certified firms available to complete the project tasks or sub-task or 2) The bids are significantly more costly than non-certified firms.
If the applicant is a licensed contractor, an additional bid must be submitted to validate the applicant’s bid. Contractor fees and overhead for applicant owners will not be reimbursed. All contractors must be licensed by the State of Oregon. All construction contracts will be between the applicant and contractor. Prosper Portland reserves the right to reject the Grantee’s proposed contractor(s).

Commitment of Funds: Grant funds will only be disbursed for work completed after a Grant Agreement is executed. Prosper Portland will review and approve proposed work and ensure all other conditions are met prior to issuing a Grant Agreement and allocating funds to the project. The Grant Agreement will outline additional terms and conditions of the matching grant and will serve as the legal commitment of both parties as to the scope and quality of work and the amount of funds committed.

Reimbursement of Funds:
Prior to reimbursement of funds, all completed work will be reviewed by Prosper Portland staff as to compliance with the Grant Agreement. At Prosper Portland discretion, the contractors or consultants may be paid directly if reimbursement is deemed a financial hardship for grant recipient.

General Conditions: The following general conditions will apply to all projects:

  • Improvements funded by the grant will be maintained in good order; graffiti and vandalism will be dutifully repaired.
  • Property taxes must be current, and participants may have no debts in arrears to the City when the Grant Agreement is issued.
  • Compliance with the City of Portland Business License, and registration with State of Oregon, is required.
  • The Applicant must complete, sign, and submit a W-9 for disbursement of funds.
  • All projects will display signage indicating Prosper Portland’s involvement in the improvement work during construction.
  • Grantees will be required to retain records for potential Prosper Portland audit.
  • Grantees will be required to repay grant funds if the terms of a grant agreement are materially breached.

High Quality Employment and Workforce Diversity:
In addition to the standard grant requirements described above, grants awarded to a traded sector, target industry firm, or high-growth firm (defined above) are contingent on two additional factors: 1) paying a living wage, 2) diversification of workforce. Following approval of such grant applications, firms will be required to:

  1. Provide information to document that 50% of workers at the location where improvements will occur earn a living wage defined as $20.67 per hour or $43,000 a year in 2016.
  2. Work with Prosper Portland to develop a workforce diversity hiring plan.

Some projects will be approved in order to secure affordable lease rates for priority businesses and uses including, but not limited to: businesses owned by people of color, women-owned technology firms, and creation of industrial space. Property owners will enter into an affordability agreement with Prosper Portland as a part of the PIP Grant.
A Prosper Portland Business Development Coordinator will be available to discuss these requirements and answer any questions you may have about fulfilling them.

Affordability: Reduced lease rates for priority tenants to keep them from being priced out of the market or to allow access to a particular market. Affordability is defined as 25%, or less, of prevailing commercial or industrial market rates in the area

Community Action Plan: Any plan that Prosper Portland formulates with community input intending to implement the Prosper Portland Strategic Plan or other community goals.

High Growth Business: average annual growth of 3-10 times its year-over-year revenues.

Immigrant: a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence

Industrial Preservation: Preservation and growth of industrial space within the Central Eastside.

Race Categories: For the PIP Grant, Prosper Portland uses definitions of race informed by Coalition of Communities of Color.

Refugee: a person who flees to a foreign country to escape danger or persecution

Tax Increment Financing (TIF): A funding method used by Prosper Portland and other urban renewal agencies in Oregon and nationwide that dedicates a portion of property taxes generated within a defined boundary (the urban renewal area) to fund projects, loans and grants within the urban renewal area created in Portland by City Council.

Traded Sector: Businesses that generate at least 50% of revenue from outside the region, or have specific prospects to do so.

Target Industries/Sectors:

  • Green Cities Products & Services (alternative energy, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability)
  • Athletic and Outdoor Gear
  • Metals & Machinery (advanced manufacturing)
  • Technology & Media (software development, film production, etc.)