information
Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

New Healthy Businesses application is now open

News Article
The Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) Healthy Businesses permit allows temporary changes to streets to give people more space to conduct business safely. PBOT is now accepting applications for the next permit cycle, Sept. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2023.
Published
In this article

Hello, Healthy Businesses permittees and friends!

On behalf of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), thank you for your partnership as a Healthy Businesses permittee. Through these permits, you and other businesses have helped Portland keep small businesses alive, activate city streets, and make the city more vital during an extremely challenging time.

As we move toward a post-pandemic world, PBOT is working to ensure the Healthy Businesses program continues to thrive – and at the same time meets the safety and access needs of all Portlanders. As a result, you will see changes to the program in the coming months.  

One change is moving to a fee-based program. This is important to ensure PBOT can continue providing technical assistance to permittees – and it reflects the fact that our public streets are a valuable part of the shared fabric of the city. However, fees will be kept low for the next year thanks to Council-directed funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This will give permittees time to transition to the new cost structure.

The application for the next Healthy Businesses cycle (Sept. 1, 2022 – Dec. 31, 2023) is now LIVE.

You can apply for a permit here: Apply for a Healthy Businesses permit

Application process

PBOT is rolling out a new Healthy Business permitting process. As we announced in March, this permit cycle includes application and permit fees. We also have a new process for collecting information needed for reporting on the City of Portland’s use of ARPA funds.

Here are the steps:

  1. Apply for a Healthy Businesses permit online
  2. (New) After 3-5 business days, Healthy Businesses staff will send you an email with a link to pay your application fee online.
  3. (New) Pay the application fee using the link provided to you. Please do not send us a check.
  4. Healthy Businesses team processes the application as in previous permit cycles. If you did not previously submit photos with your application, they will be required at this time.
  5. (New) A Healthy Businesses inspector will visit your site. The inspector will measure your site to determine permit fees.
  6. (New) You will receive an email with
    • a link to pay your permit fees and
    • a link to a form requesting demographic information for ARPA reporting.
  7. (New) Pay the permit fee and complete the ARPA reporting form using the links provided to you.
  8. Healthy Businesses team issues the permit to the applicant.

Fees

This permit cycle, PBOT will be charging fees for the use of the public sidewalk or street. These fees cover part of the cost of administering the program, allowing us to continue to provide technical support to permit holders and applicants. As noted above, fees for this cycle are set at a lower level thanks to federal ARPA grant funding. Over time, these fees will likely increase to reflect true program costs.

Fees for the Sept. 2022 - Dec. 2023 permit cycle
Fee typeFee
Application fee$150
Permit fee for sidewalk use$6 per linear foot
Permit fee for parking use$500 per parking space
Permit fee for full or partial street use$3.13 per square foot

Our June 29, 2022, email announcement did not include the permit fees for full or partial street use (outside of parking spaces). These fees are now included in the bottom row of the table above.

Fees for the program are also listed on page 5 of the Transportation Fee Schedule Exhibit C under the name "Street Seats."

Application fees are non-refundable.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Reporting Form

As part of the reporting requirements for the ARPA grant to subsidize Healthy Businesses, the City of Portland is required to request demographic information from recipients of ARPA-funded programs and services. In addition, this information will help ensure that services reach a broad cross section of the community.

Your responses will be stored separately from your permit application and will not be used to evaluate your application. While you must complete the form before we can issue your permit, every demographic question has an “I prefer not to disclose” choice available.

Permit program timeline

As we move toward a permanent program, PBOT staff will provide information and technical advice for Healthy Businesses permittees. Draft Healthy Businesses design guidelines will be available for review and public comment later this year. These guidelines will address street safety hazards and barriers that impact people with disabilities. The draft guidelines will help permit holders understand what will ultimately be required under the permanent program goals and requirements. In the meantime, PBOT staff may assess whether your site contains any critical safety hazards or presents barriers that limit access for people with disabilities.

Existing full-street and lane-width plaza permits will be re-considered and renewed this fall. During the renewal process, PBOT staff will be in contact about options available and how plazas can accommodate access for the public and people with disabilities.

Thank you again for your participation in this program. We look forward to working with you and other Healthy Businesses permittees to create a vibrant, long-lasting program that supports businesses and helps the City of Portland ensure safe, equitable use of public spaces.