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Venture Portland awards $62,000 for 21 projects intended to help neighborhood businesses survive the economic crisis

PMG FILE PHOTO - Neighborhood businesses are struggling to survive during the COVID-19 crisis.Organizations representing neighborhood businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis have been awarded $62,000 in special grants.

Venture Portland, an umbrella organization representing neighborhood business districts, announced the awards for 21 projects on Friday, April 10. The funds were provided by the city of Portland and Travel Portland, which promotes tourism.

"As a former small business owner and a lifelong Portlander, I am deeply concerned about COVID-19's impact on our local business community," Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said. "Portland's small businesses are essential to who we are and what makes Portland so special, and I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure that they have the tools they need to weather this crisis."

Joy Church, Venture Portland's Interim Executive Director, said small businesses play a vital role in the city's economy.

"The heartbeat of our city is made of small businesses; the owners and innovators who have the bravery and creativity to set up shop in Portland," he said. "In times of crisis, we believe that Portland's business district associations need additional support to hold tight and stay strong. It is our honor to provide these emergency funds to so many deserving business districts."

According to Venture Portland, the city is home to more than 23,000 neighborhood businesses, which provide more than 300,000 jobs, the majority of which have been hit hard by closures and limited operations as a result of COVID-19. The grants are intended to help business districts retain critical staff who support local businesses and market and promote their unique commercial corridors.

District Resilience Grant Awards:

Belmont Area, Staffing and Marketing;

Central Eastside Industrial, Staffing and Webinars;

Division/Clinton, Staffing and Marketing;

Foster Area Marketing;

Hawthorne Blvd., Marketing;

Kenton, Marketing;

Lloyd, Staffing;

Mississippi Ave, Staffing and Marketing;

Multnomah Village, Marketing;

NE Broadway, Staffing;

NW Portland, Marketing;

Old Town, Staffing;

Pearl District, Staffing;

Prosper Portland, Small Business Relief Fund


Benchmark Grant Awards:

Historic Parkrose, District Map;

Lloyd, District Video;

Midway, 'Midway Thriving' Event;

NW Industrial, District Website;

Old Town, Design Week Event


Destination Investment Grant Award: Pearl District, Garbage and Recycling Initiative


Economic Development Grant Award: Hawthorne Boulevard, Enhanced Services District



By Jim Redden
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