Bricks Need Mortar Recognized For Important Work For Small Business Community

Bricks Need Mortar Community Update

As we come out of an uncertain year the one certainty is that the path to fully reopening may have a path of its own. Bricks Need Mortar members came together a few days ago to share how things are going in their businesses and revealed the following:

A wide variety of masking procedures – while some businesses are letting go of all masking requirements, some continue to keep them in place. Members discussed staff vaccinations, how they influence safety protocols and the need for constant messaging. Workers are significantly more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine when their employers encourage it and provide paid time off for vaccination and recovery. Under the American Rescue Plan, employers are entitled to tax credits for providing paid leave to employees who take time off related to COVID-19 vaccinations.

 – Online sales have slowed – as people return to in person experiences and travel, some businesses are reporting significant declines in ecommerce sales reminding us to focus on improving the in store experience, capturing customer emails and preparing both our stores and our websites for the upcoming holiday season.

–  Hiring continues to be challenging – finding experienced employees is difficult and expensive. We recommend reviewing our July discussion on Hiring in the Reopening Economy.


Bricks Need Mortar brings our community together to share challenges and solutions, advocates for the needs of our small businesses, and works to develop impactful programs that benefit our community.

Bricks Need Mortar founder, Sarah Shaoul, was recently recognized for this work and used the opportunity to highlight the Bricks Need Mortar x Kuto partnership to create the first of its kind Small Shops Big Hearts PDXSOS gift card that can be used at hundreds of small businesses while saving small businesses from paying high credit card fees.

Watch the 1 minute video here:

Grace Period For Deferred Rent Payments Extended Through September 2021

Bricks Need Mortar Community Update

Governor Brown has signed into law HB 2966A. This extends the repayment period for deferred commercial rents to September 30, 2021, allowing time for grant funds, including Shuttered Venue, Restaurant Relief, and other grants to arrive at small businesses so businesses can pay deferred rents. 

We want to thank Oregon Representative Rob Nosse for his leadership and sponsorship of this bill. This law was supported through the strong advocacy of Bricks Need Mortar and our partners Business for a Better Portland (BBPDX) through Oregon Small Businesses United (OSBU).

Your membership makes it possible for us to advocate for you. 


Small Shops Big Hearts Gift Cards Are In Circulation.

The Small Shops Big Hearts PDXSOS gift card powered by Kuto is now available!

Bricks Need Mortar partners with Kuto payments to create the first of its kind, a single gift card for Portland’s small businesses.

$11,000 in gift cards have already been purchased by:

-Community members

-The Oregon Health Authority for vaccine incentives

-Travel Portland to share with travel writers, journalists and bloggers to spend when visiting and writing about Portland

We want to make sure that this money ends up in your sweet little small business pockets!

To learn more about why we love Kuto check here and sign up by reaching out to Kuto today.

Added bonus for Bricks Need Mortar members – receive free processing on the first $2K of sales processed through Kuto.


Successful Strategies For Hiring In The Reopening Economy.

Hiring employees remains one of the greatest hurdles to small businesses reopening and returning to full service. If these are questions that are top of mind, you’ll want to join this call:

  1. What are strategies for diversifying our workforce?
  2. Which platforms are the best to submit job postings?
  3. How can my business be more competitive in attracting qualified candidates?

Our expert panel will share insight and best practices to help you hire well with staff that will help you meet your goals and mission.

Join us Thursday, June 17th at 9am.

Members-Only Forum on Recent COVID-19 Changes with Chair Kafoury

Join this forum with County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury and lead health officer Dr Jennifer Vines Tuesday, May 25th at 8am.

We will be discussing recent changes around Covid-19 protocols, including mask wearing and occupancy and their impact on our small businesses.

The CDC and the OHA’s recent announcement about updated COVID-19 guidelines left many business owners confused on how to move forward. Chair Kafoury and Dr. Vines want to discuss these changes, answer questions and listen to concerns.

This forum is co-hosted by Business for a Better Portland, Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC), Portland Area Business Association (PABA), Hispanicpros and Bricks Need Mortar.

If you would like to submit a question ahead of time to Chair Kafoury or Dr. Vines, please do so here.