Downtown Portland Pop-Up Shops

2021 PDX Pop Up Shops: Calling All Makers!

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, The Portland Business Alliance, and Downtown Retail Council are pleased to announce an open call for interested participants for the 2021 PDX Pop Up Shop Program.

The PDX Pop Up Shop program matches local talent and emerging small businesses with temporary retail storefront opportunities in the Central Downtown and the Old Town area as well as additional mentoring, support, and promotion for emerging new businesses.  Pop-Up shops will be open approximately 7 weeks during the holiday season, mentoring and support begins prior to this time.

This program nurtures local, BIPOC, & LGBTQ+ talent by allowing local entrepreneurs and designers to test and enhance their product line in free and low-cost space in Central Downtown and the redeveloping Old Town neighborhood.  Additionally, this program recruits future independent retailers to the area, increases the vibrancy of Central City and Old Town by activating vacant storefronts, showcasing retail leasing opportunities, and connecting emerging retail businesses with experts in retail display and merchandising. 

“It has been a dream come true,” writes Alsherif Eskander of Amity Goods.  Alsherif participated in the 2019 Pop Up Shops program and has recently been able to transition their unique mix of handmade, locally sourced, and custom printed textiles into a brick & mortar shop.  

Participants selected for this program will be provided with free or low-cost rent for November and December. Grants can also be acquired on an as need basis for additional support for store improvements and utilities. 

Selected participants in this program will be provided with:

  • Retail space for low or no-cost rent for November and December.
  • Grants are available on an as needed basis for store improvements and utilities. 
  • Free retail store design and merchandising assistance.  
  • Mentorship with existing retail store manager/owner. 
  • Robust marketing & support. 
  • Commercial Real Estate / Property Manager support in negotiating future leases in the Clean & Safe District.  

Participants will be required to provide proof of liability insurance, federal tax id, and a City of Portland Business License. 


Please email the completed application to: in a pdf format no later than Midnight on September 7, 2021.

Documents should have the business name saved in the title (for example:  “Shop Name Pop Up Shop Application”. 

Application materials should be no more than 12 pages in total and should include the following information:

  1. Let’s hear your elevator pitch.  In a half-page describe your business model and attraction of your Downtown retail business. 
  2. Submit a brief description of your vision for the proposed shop. Please include product assortment (types of product, brands, and price points) and primary design vision for the store including layout, fixtures, and décor. 
  3. Describe in detail and provide photographic samples of your work and work by other designers you intend to stock in your store. 
  4. Please submit past sales results if your designs are carried in retail locations and any press your designs have garnered. 
  5. While the PDX Pop-Up team can provide some assistance with producing events, marketing your store, and providing public relations outreach, please describe the methods you would follow to gain exposure, traffic, and sales to your site. This may be in the form of events, social media, promotions, or other active elements. 
  6. Please describe how you would staff the store. Stores are required to be open 6 days per week 11 to 7 Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 5 on Sunday. 
  7. Include a general biography and resume. 

Other Qualifications: 

  • Branded merchandise should be unique to the marketplace and not currently carried or represented in downtown retail establishments 
  • Merchandise categories that do well include gift items, clothing and apparel, art, home decor and furniture, prepackaged specialty food items. Items under $100 do well. 
  • Expected sales should be at least $1000 per week 
  • At least 50% of merchandise carried in store should be procured from local Portland, Oregon designers 
  • Retail sales, management/organizational experience required 
  • Proposals may not be wholly similar to any retail concept that exists or has since closed 
  • Special note: prepared food and alcohol sales are not allowed under this program. 

Proposals will be reviewed by a selection panel made of business representatives and industry professionals, and will be evaluated based on the compelling nature of the application, quality of merchandise, business growth potential, the number of jobs and artists supported, and support for Portland’s activewear cluster ( Submissions from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women-owned businesses are highly encouraged. 

Awarded applicants will be notified by September 27, 2021.