Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and Main Street Network Lisa Norwood
The Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) and Main Street Network is a Prosper Portland program focused on community economic development at the neighborhood scale. A community-driven, self-help approach is at the heart of this work. With grants, training, and support from Prosper Portland, each district is responsible for planning and implementing projects to improve the local commercial district.
Each organization is led by a board of directors, staffed by a district manager, and guided by input and participation from neighbors, businesses and community groups. District managers develop relationships with district businesses and work with the board and other volunteers to implement specific projects that drive business growth.
The NPI and Main Street Network was created as a key component of the City’s Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy and continues as a cornerstone of Prosper Portland’s Strategic Plan, focused on fostering widely shared prosperity for all Portland communities, particularly those that are low-income and historically disadvantaged.
In order to ensure that program benefits are shared by all community members, each district is guided by a District Equity Strategy that addresses leadership, outreach, and the distribution of resources.
Stories from Our 42nd Avenue Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative District
In 2009, districts were selected to participate in the Portland Main Street program through a competitive application process. Two years later the NPI districts were created, with a focus on areas located in priority neighborhoods (outside URAs), experiencing lagging commercial investments, with a higher than citywide poverty rate, and a higher concentration of minority-owned or neighborhood serving businesses.