Portland’s Storefront Improvement Program Creates Economic Growth

As Oregon demolition contractors, we monitor construction programs that support our state’s growth. Today we’re reviewing one such program, the Portland Storefront Improvement Program (SIP). This program provides cash grants and technical assistance to business and property owners in certain eligible neighborhoods.

We love so much about Portland, but one thing that stands out are the charming shops that give many of our neighborhoods an authentic feel. Portland’s small businesses are community anchors, and the city of Portland does its best to look after this environment by promoting neighborhood vitality programs such as the Storefront Improvement Program, which is managed by the Portland Development Commission (PDC).

According to its website, the PDC’s mission is to “create economic growth and opportunity for Portland.” The agency is committed to helping all of Portland’s residents thrive and prosper, and prioritizes its project funding and investments by community-defined needs and by geography-specific strategies.

The Storefront Improvement Program began in 1989 and was only available for Old Town. In 1994 the program expanded to include businesses along NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. As of 2015, the storefront grants are awarded in eight of the city’s urban renewal districts. Cash grants and technical assistance are available to property and business owners in eligible neighborhoods. Grant recipients can use funds for a variety of projects, from repainting and signage to the purchase of new windows and awnings. For the last 25 years, the SIP program has revived pride in Portland’s charming neighborhoods.

Applying for a Storefront Improvement Grant. Visit portlandmaps.com or the Portland Development Commission’s site to determine if your property qualifies. You can contact a PDC staff member to discuss the project and to determine if it meets the required criteria. You will fill out a pre-application in order to continue. The city advises that business owners, property owners, and neighborhood organizations to work collectively on the application. Business owners will need the consent of the property owner as well.

The start of the 21st century has been rough on the American urban landscape. Many Midwestern cities such as Detroit and Cleveland have turned to the demolition of abandoned buildings to create urban green spaces. In cities on the West Coast, such as Portland, development has followed a different cycle. Here, old decrepit buildings are torn down in favor of high-density. Instead of demolishing areas of historical value, Portland values restoration and renewal of these areas, and with good results. Along with other Oregon demolition companies, we applaud the city of Portland’s efforts to revitalize neighborhoods with the Storefront Improvement Program.

[Photo by  FreeImages.com/Gareth Sian via Content License Agreement]

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