healthy business program
“Black-Centered Spaces for Community and Business in Albina,” is the name of a project that won the Portland Bureau of Transportation a $25,000 grant.
PBOT was one of 10 agencies nationwide to earn a Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery grant from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), a nonprofit that works with over 80 member cities in North America. NACTO says the money should, “Provide health services information to residents, create space for safe mobility, and bolster local economies.” The winners were announced on August 25th.
According to a PBOT spokesperson, they plan to partner with the Soul District Business Association, Self Enhancement Inc., and Albina Vision Trust and use the money to supplement their Frontline Communities Partnership Program which helps organizations respond to the Covid-19 crisis. PBOT has $50,000 allocated for that program and plans to award it in $10,000 chunks. The funds will also help create new public street art in north Portland. [Read more…]
The current number one priority at Portland’s transportation bureau is a permit program that aims to help restaurants spread into the street so they can serve more people safely. The Healthy Business program is part of a larger Safe Streets Initiative that’s altering public right-of-way to improve safety and create more space for physically-distanced commerce.
By some accounts the program is working well. Since it was launched at the end of May, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) says they’ve issued well over 200 permits so far and rave reviews are coming in for the street dining plazas.
But is the program working for everyone? Are Black-owned businesses getting a fair shot? And is PBOT’s execution of the program living up to their pledge to be antiracist?