As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the City of Beaverton is working to help local businesses through these difficult times. Beaverton’s Emergency Business Assistance Program was one of the first COVID-19 emergency grant programs for businesses in the state. It began back in March 2020 and has assisted 233 small businesses in Beaverton with $732,000 in funding for emergency rental assistance. The success of this program helped to secure more than $2 million in funding for grants, courtesy of Washington County and the State of Oregon. This funding was made available to Beaverton businesses starting in late August and extended into September.
Another program created to assist local businesses during the pandemic is Open Air Beaverton. This program was created by Community Development with support from Public Works and championed by city leaders to help promote the recovery of local small businesses. Through Saturday, Oct. 31, the program authorizes the temporary suspension of enforcement of certain city codes and allows outdoor expansion of retail businesses and personal services into areas normally reserved for vehicles. Food and drink, recreational (gyms/yoga studios), and other services citywide can expand into private parking lots, if they follow certain requirements. Similar downtown businesses in Old Town and Beaverton Central are allowed to expand into the parking lanes of city streets with approval via a free city permit.
The city has also temporarily closed one block of Southwest First Street between Washington and Watson through the summer to establish a public dining area called 1st Street Dining Commons for people to sit down and enjoy takeout food. For more information about the city’s response to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.BeavertonOregon.gov/coronavirus. As in years past, the city also continues to offer grant assistance through the Storefront and Tenant Improvement programs. The Storefront Improvement Program offers architectural design services and construction matching grants to help businesses improve their curb appeal to draw in more customers. The Tenant Improvement Program offers architectural design services and construction matching grants to help improve food and drink-based businesses. Applications are open through Friday, Sep. 11, and new restaurants are invited to apply anytime. For more information, visit www.BeavertonOregon.gov/storefront and www.BeavertonOregon.gov/tenant.