Here For Portland is a city-led nonprofit dedicated to getting its residents back on their feet after a troublesome pandemic.
The nonprofit brings people together for a green initiative that improves the city’s quality.
Here For Portland primarily helps local businesses rebuild, especially after weathering a troubling pandemic.
Last Friday night, Here For Portland gave away three thousand $50 gift certificates at the tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square.
The gift cards were distributed through the free Kuto app.
People can also use it at participating businesses in the city.
Abe Proctor, director of communications for Worksystems, the workforce development board for Multnomah and Washington counties, commended the app, saying:
“The Kuto app is a local, BIPOC-owned company that helps people make electronic transactions while avoiding the fees that are charged by major financial institutions.”
“Everybody likes $50, right? And we’re giving away three thousand of these, so that’s $150,000,” he added.
The campaign is part of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s efforts to support the local downtown business establishments.
The goal is to help entrepreneurs recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Additionally, Here For Portland is committed to encouraging Portland residents to shop at local businesses this holiday season.
The nonprofit organization wants to highlight the importance of helping businesses owned by women and people from underprivileged communities.
On Friday evening, dozens of people lined up to receive the free gift card.
Residents greatly appreciate the nonprofit’s efforts.
“We’ve gotten Kuto gift cards before,” said Caty Jimenez.
“It’s given us a lot of opportunities to find new local businesses that we haven’t heard of before, or maybe we wanted to go to but didn’t have the money ourselves to spend on it.”
Meanwhile, other Portland residents believe Here For Portland’s efforts will help the city overcome some of its recent challenges and inspire others to shop locally for the holiday season.
“It’s a start,” acknowledged Bernard Lewis.
“I think it’s a great way to improvise and to jump over that hurdle, tear down that wall, and get Portland the recognition it really deserves.”
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Here For Portland also operates with Portland State University.
The nonprofit helps students find paying jobs at downtown businesses.
Furthermore, students who enroll can work a total of 300 hours.
After the hours are completed, the businesses they worked with have the option to hire them on an ongoing basis.