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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

The Small Business Empowerment Program assists historically marginalized business owners including Black, Indigenous, People Of Color business owners and business owners with disabilities recognized by the ADA who have experienced severe disproportionate barriers in the development review process.

We provide extra assistance in the areas of land use, permitting and inspections to help small business owners and entrepreneurs from the communities described above.

How the Small Business Empowerment Program Works

  • Researches and investigates various codes and regulations on behalf of customers
  • Empowers clients with the information needed to negotiate before signing a lease agreement for future tenants and building owners.
  • Collaborates with clients to brainstorm options for addressing the permitting/ building issues in a manner that works best for them
  • Guides clients through the resolution process until the issues are resolved  and the project is permitted
  • Connects small business owners to available community resources

Completion of this form does not guarantee acceptance into the Small Business Empowerment Program. If you meet program eligibility, a team member will contact you with next steps. If you falsify or deliberately misrepresent information on this form, your application will not be accepted into the program.

If you are not accepted into the Small Business Empowerment program, you will be notified with alternative resources for your project.


* Required Field

Small Business Empowerment Program

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Are your certified a Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) firm? If so, what designation?
Are you Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color?
Do you have a disability as defined by the American Disability Act (ADA)?

The ADA defines a person with a disability as: A person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability.
Does this project require a building permit?
Voluntary Information

Please note that the Voluntary Information section helps our team to strive for more inclusive and diverse involvement in our process and programs. We will be able to monitor these statistics and determine whether we’re hearing from a stronger representation of Portlanders, and then make adjustments in our outreach, engagement and program development as needed. Please know that our team deeply values the needs of the community and your information is kept in strict confidentiality. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to complete the form in its entirety.


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What is your age?
What gender do you identify with?
What area of town is your business located?
Which best describes your current property?
Are you a New (less than 1 year) or Existing Business?
How long have you been in business?
Which industry best describes your business?

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