BEAVERTON, Ore. – The City of Beaverton and Beaverton Downtown Association (BDA) have been recognized as 2021 “Excellence on Main” award winners by Oregon Main Street. The honor is given to “those who work day-in and day-out to revitalize Oregon’s historic downtowns and traditional commercial neighborhoods.”
The city and BDA received one of two Outstanding Public Private Partnership honors for ongoing collaboration, particularly our collective response during the pandemic. Together, the city and BDA created the Open Air Beaverton program—an effort providing enhanced business flexibility with expanded outdoor use to meet customer needs in response to statewide requirements.
“The City of Beaverton has always been an incredible partner for our work in downtown,” the executive director of the BDA, Kevin Teater, shared. “This has been especially true throughout the pandemic, and it’s one reason why downtown has proved so resilient during this time. This has been a true collaborative effort between elected officials, City staff, BDA team members, and the downtown community. I am excited to see it continue to grow!”
The city has provided grant funding, staff support and other resources to better ensure the vitality of our downtown areas. This includes new wall and sidewalk murals, gathering areas, landscape planters, and ongoing assessment of the area’s walkability and accessibility.
"One of the many things highlighted by the pandemic was the importance of community connections," said Mayor Beaty. "The City, BDA, and local businesses had been working for years to transform Downtown into a true destination when the pandemic hit. Pressing a giant pause button would have been easy and understandable. But instead everyone doubled down, leaning in together to come up with creative solutions to keep businesses open and accessible, and provide for those who were struggling. Our City Council stepped up and honored the calls of the people. I'm so proud of our City and our downtown businesses, and thankful to count Ben, Lauren, and Kevin among my friends and partners in this good work we get to do."
In addition, Lionheart Coffee Company, owned by Lauren and Ben Reese, received a Business Hero award for their pandemic response. The company began a food resource center to collect community donations, made free lunches and provided more than 12,000 meals to people in need.
Lionheart also was instrumental in setting up the 1st Street Dining Commons area that allows safe, outdoor dining seating for patrons to downtown eateries. This partnership with the city offered an alternative for downtown business to meet health and safety guidelines and kept many businesses open during the pandemic.
A total of twenty-one businesses, projects, partners and people were recognized with awards this year. Videos of some of the award winners can be found here.
Oregon Main Street is part of Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For additional information, visit www.oregonmainstreet.org.