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Portland, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Entrepreneurship and improved economic resilience

Description: This project piloted an age-friendly business designation in Portland. The designation encourages local businesses to adopt practices that accommodate older adult customers. Participating businesses receive a certificate, as well as window decals advertising their status as an age-friendly business. Additionally, the Ramp Up for Accessibility project provided portable ramps and wireless doorbells to locations that are open to the public.

Puyallup, WA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Entrepreneurship and improved economic resilience

Description: This project created an age-friendly business certification program, which identifies businesses that intentionally accommodate older adult customers. After recruiting businesses to participate, project organizers scored each one based on customer service, environment, access and discounts. To incentivize businesses to participate, the Main Street Association chose six businesses with a 90 score to win decorative planter boxes. Participating businesses signed a pledge to be age-friendly and received certification stickers to display in their storefront windows. Businesses can apply to be re-certified every two years.

Portland, OR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Entrepreneurship and improved economic resilience

Description: Following COVID-19 shutdowns, Alberta Main Street wanted to encourage residents to visit small businesses in the Alberta District. To increase foot traffic in the neighborhood, they hosted a series of community events. Christmas, Halloween and other holiday-themed gatherings drew large crowds to the district. Additionally, they launched a monthly Last Thursday series, which showcased local artists' work and offered activities for families with children. Organizers worked to ensure each event celebrated the neighborhoods' diversity and culture, as well as its African American business owners. Alberta Main Street hopes future events help shield legacy businesses from displacement. In the future, they are also planning a grant program to help owners historically overlooked by traditional lenders.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Augusta, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Organizers with the Augusta Recreation and Parks Department noticed people were driving their vehicles into Henry H. Brigham Park, making park users feel unsafe. This project set out to prevent this, keeping a walking track, basketball court and playground area free from cars and trucks. The Department installed bollards, as well as benches -- which served the dual purpose of giving park patrons a place to rest. Additionally, organizers planted shade trees to make the park more appealing in the summer heat. To draw visitors, the Department also worked to increase recreational programming in the park, including Tai Chi classes.

Augusta, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Bikeability

Description: Augusta Urban Ministries provided free bikes and equipment, along with safety training, to 25 older adults. Additionally, the organization will offer bike inspections and repairs on an ongoing basis. To build interest in cycling, they also hosted a community bike ride along the Augusta Canal Trail.

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