The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way most restaurants operate in Portland, but now growing businesses are facing a new challenge.
Caitlin Hemphill is one of the owners of Two Strokes Coffee and Cyclemaster Coffee. When so many businesses are on the verge of shutting down, she is trying to expand with new locations in Kenton and St. Johns.
The one thing holding her back is a delay with the Bureau of Development Services. Hemphill says she has been working to get permits for two new Portland locations for months. One permit was even filed before the coronavirus pandemic began.
“My husband and I have been frustrated with how slow and lack of transparency the permitting office has become. We understand they had to make some changes because of COVID. It was already a pretty clunky and arduous task to get a permit through Portland, but now it has turned into months of waiting and running around,” Hemphill said. “We started the permit process back in February right before COVID. Our contractor went down with the plans and everything to go. Still, we are waiting.”