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Storefront Matching Mini Grant

Grants to Portland, Oregon Business Owners to
Enhance Commercial Properties in Eligible Areas

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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St. Johns Center for Opportunity

Deadline Date:

01/10/20 5:00 PM

Description:

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Grants ranging from $250 to $5,000 to Portland, Oregon commercial property and business owners for projects that improve storefronts and enhance the St. Johns business district. Funding is intended to help strengthen buildings and businesses with projects that improve the exterior or interior of buildings. Projects should promote a unique and attractive image of the area and reflect the creativity of the business district.

Examples of possible projects include but are not limited to:

  • Exterior Lighting and Interior Lighting
  • Street Trees
  • Awning removal or improvement
  • Tree Well Improvements
  • Planters
  • Exterior Paint or Interior Paint
  • Unique Bike Racks
  • Door/window replacement and weatherization
  • Signage (not including A-Boards)

Interior projects that are “sticks and bricks” (i.e. stay with the building) are eligible for funding as well, such as lighting, painting, and flooring. 

Priority projects:

  • Fit the Center for Opportunity's equity lens of supporting businesses/properties owned by people of color,
    women or low-income individuals.
  • Reflect the creativity of the business district.
  • Improve the overall look and feel of the business district. The Center for Opportunity is especially interested in funding exterior paint projects, projects that improve the lighting in the downtown business district and new building signage projects.
  • Include a plan for ongoing maintenance.
  • Integrate sustainability (economic, environmental & social equity), i.e. energy efficient
    lighting.
  • Utilize local vendors.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167371

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$40,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants can apply for $250 up to $5,000 for qualifying projects.

Term of Contract:

Projects should be completed by June 30, 2020. If projects are not on track to be completed by June 30, 2020 the business or property owner must receive written consent from the Funding Source.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Any building owner or tenant with lease authority and authorization from the property owner can apply for funding.
- Storefront Improvement grants may only be distributed to businesses located in St. Johns' Urban Renewal Area, which is a part of the Interstate Urban Renewal Area. The project site must be located in the urban renewal area (along Lombard Street between N Burr Ave and N St. Louis).
- Tenants must have a minimum of two years remaining on their lease or an option to renew.
- Projects must conform to the Portland Zoning Code and be approved by the Center for Opportunity’s Business Resource Team.

Ineligible for Funding:
The Matching Grant program is not intended to cover the costs of extensive deferred maintenance, such as power washing, or major redesign and structural work. For example, while a small grant may cover the cost of new light fixtures and installation, it is not appropriate for major redesign and structural work, if that is necessary to hang the fixture. The grant is not intended to cover the cost of installing or replacing objects that will not stay with the building, such as movable landscaping pots, interior seating, fixtures, and display cases.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due Friday, January 10th, 2020 at 5 pm. All applications must be submitted in person or via mail.

Timeline:
- Late October 2019: Applications are open
- January 10, 2020: Completed applications are due by 5 p.m.
- January 15, 2020: Business Resource Team reviews applications
- January 16 – 17, 2020 - Applicants notified on the status of their project application; letters of commitment are issued
- June 30, 2020 Project completed and documentation submitted for reimbursement. Grant dollars will be reimbursed to applicant within three-four weeks of submission final report.

Approved projects will receive a letter of commitment from the Center for Opportunity for the award amount (this is typically sent via email). Upon receipt of the letter of commitment, the applicant can immediately proceed with the project.

All funds granted must be matched on a one-to-one basis by the business or property owner. The Center for Opportunity is committed to helping applicants meet the matching requirement for the grant and will work with applicants and support their efforts to identify a source for the match.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you have questions, or would like to speak about your project idea, email Lindsay Jensen at lindsay@stjohnsopportunity.org or call 503-841-5522.

Submit completed applications to:
Center for Opportunity
7302 N Richmond Ave
Portland, OR 97203

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon: St. Johns' Urban Renewal Area (along Lombard Street between N Burr Ave and N St. Louis)

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