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For the Business Community

Storefront Improvement Program


Before and after photos of storefront improvement projects. View full-size images and project details on Flickr.

Portland is known for its charming, authentic neighborhoods, anchored by small business. The city’s deep commitment to those small businesses and their role in neighborhood vitality is the foundation of the Storefront Improvement Program, administered by the Portland Development Commission.

The storefront grants began in 1989 and were available only for property owners in Old Town. In 1994, the program expanded to businesses along Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; today storefront grants are awarded in eight of the city's 11 urban renewal districts.

By the end of fiscal year 2009-10, the program had made a total of 1183 grants totaling $15 million over its 21-year history. The before and after pictures tell the story: a new awning, paint or doors can be a major transformation.

The program provides cash grants and technical assistance to business and property owners in eligible neighborhoods. Recipients can use the support for a variety of improvements, from repainting and signage to purchase of new windows and awnings. For the past twenty years, the program has re-established pride in some of Portland's oldest and best-loved neighborhoods, by helping new and established businesses attract customers; leveraging private investment from current owners and inspiring improvements to neighboring buildings; and enhancing the appearance and charm of commercial areas while building a safer street environment.

Program Eligibility

You can quickly determine whether your property qualifies for Storefront Improvement Program benefits by searching for a specific address on PortlandMaps.com. Map your property >

The Grant Percentage varies for different areas. Please contact the Project Manager for grant amount for a particular property.

Storefront Target Area  Area Map
Central Eastside View Map
Downtown Retail Core View map
Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood View map
Oregon Convention Center View map
River District View map
Gateway Regional Center View map
Interstate Corridor* View map
Lents Town Center View map


*As of January 1, 2014, PDC has committed the current grant funding allocation in the Interstate Corridor URA budget for FY13-14. Businesses and property owners seeking grant assistance will be put on a waiting list until grant programs are reopened, and should continue to work with PDC staff. Our anticipated date to accept new applications is April 1, 2014.