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About Us

The Soul District Business Association (formerly known as SDBA) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit that has been promoting and sustaining the economic and business development of inner urban North/Northeast Portland since 1977. We are a voice, advocate, facilitator and catalyst for approximately 5,000 businesses and 64,000 residents within our district boundaries.

We are a membership organization governed by a board of 15 and a variety of sub-committees and an active member of Venture Portland.

The Soul of Portland

N/NE Portland was deemed the “Soul of Portland” in the 1990s as much because of its courage to sustain and foresight to see a promising future as it was for its cultural vibrancy.  This nickname simply refers to the spirit or temperament of Portland’s creative center. It is an untouchable but undeniable characteristic that demonstrates our unique will to be innovative in the face of obstacles and steadiness amidst setbacks. These characteristics have helped shaped the advancement of our micro cobbler business nodes, artistic demonstrations & expressionisms, multicultural preservation and community advocacy& visioning.

Advocacy, Resources, Outreach, and Collaborations

Over the span of our existence we have worked with public and private entities to identify, promote and implement many of the positive changes our members now realize; user friendly streets, healthier business environments, public education & awareness and better business relationships among business peers & mentors.

Our organization’s focus includes involvement  in the areas of:

  • small business advocacy & sustainability,
  • urban renewal & economic development,
  • resource identification & referral
  • marketing, events & tourism,
  • youth entrepreneurial career leadership development,
  • neighborhood beautification,
  • strategic planning & collaborative relationships,
  • transportation progression
  • workforce development and
  • healthy work environments

As an “umbrella district” we are one of the largest and oldest business districts in the City of Portland and the State of Oregon. We boast and average of 300-500 active members annually and we are growing.

Our geographical boundaries extend South to North from N/NE Broadway to N/NE Columbia, and East to West from NE 33rd Avenue to N Interstate. We also encompass the Moda Center Corridor.

Within our district boundaries there are:

11 neighborhoods

  • Piedmont
  • Humboldt
  • Woodlawn
  • Concordia
  • King
  • Sabin
  • Alameda
  • Boise
  • Elliott
  • Irvington
  • Grant

14 business urban side streets:

North to South Avenues

  • NE 33rd Ave
  • NE 15th Ave
  • MLK Jr. Blvd- major thorough fair (old hwy 99)
  • N Williams/Vancouver
  • N Albina
  • N Mississippi

East to West Streets

  • N/NE Russell/Knott
  • N/NE Fremont
  • N/NE Prescott
  • N/NE Alberta
  • N/NE Killingsworth
  • N/NE Ainsworth
  • N/NE Dekum
  • N/NE Lombard

3 Sub-business associations

  • Mississippi Avenue
  • Alberta Avenue
  • Williams/Vancouver Avenues

1 Main-Street program

Alberta Arts District