Support Portland's Small Businesses

expansion of outdoor dining & Retail

On May 18, 2020, the City Council approved a pilot program that allows City staff to temporarily close several streets in order to facilitate the expansion of outdoor dining and retail. The program also includes the expansion of outdoor dining and retail operations on sidewalks, parks/squares, private parking lots, and the use of parklets in parking spaces. These temporary business licenses will be valid June 1 through November 1.

Pilot Program Proposal *Streets listed for closure subject to change

View our list of Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Business Licenses for Pilot Program
Outdoor Dining - Extension of Permit
Temporary Public Property Outdoor Dining
Temporary Private Property Outdoor Dining 
Temporary Parklet Outdoor Dining
Temporary Sidewalk Sale 

loan & Grant programs 

The City of Portland launched three emergency business assistance programs after receiving City Council approval of the programs at its May 4, 2020 meeting and final funding for them at its May 18, 2020 meeting. 

The programs include the Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (BAP-Rehire), the Microenterprise Grant Program, and the Rapid Response Microloan Program. Information about the programs and an application can be found on the City’s website at portlandmaine.gov/CovidBizAssist.

Join the Portland Regional Chamber’s #PayItForwardMaine campaign!

  • Buy a gift card, gift certificate, class pass, etc. 
  • Utilize take-out, curbside to-go, and delivery services. 
  • Purchase merchandise from the businesses’ website. 
  • See if your service providers offer virtual options.
  • Support Maine farmers.
  • If you can’t show monetary support, consider sharing the website or social media account of your favorite business, organization, or entrepreneur and encourage others to support them. 

List of Businesses Providing Take-Out, Curbside Pick-Up & Delivery

Visit Portland Food Map  or Portland Old Port for an ever growing list of businesses that are providing take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery. 

View a list of distilleries that are making hand sanitizer

How to Support Those in Need

  • Donate to your local nonprofits as they continue to provide services for those in need.
  • The United Way of Greater Portland is running a Greater Portland Relief Fund
  • The Good Shepherd Food Bank has created a virtual food drive page where you can locate and support the closest food pantry, or start a drive of your own. 
  • Cultivating Community has created an Emergency Food Fund to support New American farmers and low-income families.

Support Our Arts & Culture Community

  • Creative Portland has created an emergency relief fund for visual artists and performing artists in the gig economy, who are not eligible for unemployment.