A PBOT Healthy Businesses side street plaza run by StormBreaker Brewing at N Beech and Mississippi Streets last summer. Photo by PBOT.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will once again offer free permits for its Healthy Businesses program this summer as Portland businesses continue to endure economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Permits will be active from their issue date through Oct. 31, 2021.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PBOT created the Healthy Business program to allow local businesses to creatively use street space to safely serve their customers. Since the program started in May 2020, PBOT issued more than 1,000 Healthy Businesses permits and 181 pickup/drop-off zones in 2020 free of charge to permittees. Approximately 20% of permits were issued to businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and other people of color.
In September 2020, PBOT launched a public survey as part of its evaluation of the program. The survey’s 3,000 plus respondents overwhelmingly supported the program.
92% of all survey respondents reported visiting a Portland establishment that was doing business this summer in the public right-of-way, such as on the sidewalk or in the street.
78% of respondents felt safe visiting businesses outdoors, given concerns about COVID-19.
94% of survey respondents felt that, as COVID-19 continues to impact businesses, street space should continue to remain open for business use.