Funding supports new Major Impact Grants and increases Venture Portland’s staffing to serve Catalytic Investment Initiative (CII) districts, which include St. Johns, Williams, Foster, Lents, and Midway.
Venture Portland also launched an Events Hub to help business districts and organizations with large-scale events. Services include event planning, vendor and resource connections, social media and sponsorship recommendations. Venture Portland will also work with Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) for road closures, traffic control, etc.
Downtown and Commercial Corridor Revitalization and Activation
Downtown and neighborhood commercial districts continue to struggle because of the pandemic. A team at Prosper Portland is working to revitalize and activate these areas in partnership with community and city bureau partners. Activations have included small business pop-ups and events to transform plazas and vacant storefronts.
Prosper Portland is partnering with Worksystems to provide career training and work opportunities. These services are for Portlanders who are houseless, at risk of eviction or affected by increased violence or crime.
Career training programs are 12 weeks or less. Graduates who complete training are also connected to employment opportunities.
The Portland Small Business Hub is a free resource navigation & technical assistance program that provides support for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic located in the city of Portland.
The Hub is a collaboration between Prosper Portland and local service providers and offers culturally specific small business technical assistance and resource navigation. The Hub connects business owners to financial relief programs by facilitating referrals to one-on-one assistance in applying for loans, grants, and other funding opportunities. Services are available in different languages.
Services for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic include:
Navigation to business resources
One-on-one support to complete grant or loan applications for relief programs
Cultural and industry-specific technical assistance
Technical assistance via language translation and interpretation services
The Small Business Stabilization Restore Grant Program supports Portland small businesses experiencing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Prosper Portland provides these direct grants to help stabilize small businesses by addressing operational expenses for businesses within the city. The Restore Grant Program can provide up to $25,000 in reimbursements to eligible small businesses or nonprofits located along highly impacted districts and corridors for eligible expenses related to security, prevention, specific operational expenses, damages, and vandalism that occurred since January 2022.
Given ongoing pandemic impacts, Prosper Portland is committed to sustaining support of public and private property owners, small businesses, artists, and event producers with a focus on investing in Portland’s “main streets.” This funding will support the following initiatives:
Develop an activation strategy that helps to determine ideal commercial corridors where activation has the largest impact for small businesses in the area
Produce a consistent flow of activations, events, and art installations throughout the city to bolster commercial corridors
Branding and Marketing
Prosper Portland contracted with North, an advertising agency, to develop the Every Wednesdayevent promotions and awareness campaign. Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, retailers, restaurants, and clubs located in the Central City continue to struggle. Prior to the pandemic, most of these businesses enjoyed regular support provided by downtown workers and visitors. The event promotion and awareness campaigns have been closely coordinated with an array of public, private, and non-profit partners with the overall goal of inviting residents, visitors, employees, and employers to actively support the local businesses that are directly linked to the vibrancy of the Central City.
Learn more about our pandemic recovery programs and resources:
In the midst of a public health & economic crisis, how and where you spend your money matters. Portland’s small businesses are the very soul of the city – and many of them, owned by People of Color, could use your business. They’re showcased at Shop Small PDX, where you’ll find inspiration and excitement in a full array of products, services, experiences and gift ideas.
On March 18, 2020 Portland City Council approved the allocation of $1 million in general fund dollars for relief to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program served as a bridge of support for Portland small businesses until state and federal disaster resources became available.
Enforcing the face covering policy required by state law protects the well-being of your customers and your own personal safety while at work. Here are some tips and helpful information for communicating with customers who do not comply with the law.
Prosper Portland is committed to helping Portland’s small businesses open with care under the guidance of State of Oregon and County requirements. Read on for resources for small businesses and nonprofits planning for the phased reopening.
City Council allocated $15 million in federal CARES Act relief to Prosper Portland to distribute to small business via the Small Business Relief Fund and block grants to community nonprofits.
Prosper Portland and the City of Portland are committed to equity and meaningful access, and prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, source of income, or familial status in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. To request translation, interpretation, accommodations, modifications, or other auxiliary aids or services, or to file a complaint of discrimination, contact 311 (503-823-4000), for Relay Service & TTY: 711.