Pittsburgh, PA, July 7, 2020

The Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) has received a $160,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to fund a multi prong effort to help Oakland businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: Oakland Safe & Strong and the Oakland Enhancements Project — includes one of the city’s first outdoor dining areas utilizing street and sidewalk space to accommodate social distancing safety needs.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation’s initiative is designed to support new ideas to spur economic recovery throughout Western Pennsylvania. Out of the 235 submissions received by the foundation, OBID’s proposal was one of 37 chosen for initial funding.

“The Foundation has a long history of supporting creative projects in Oakland, and with good cause,” said Sam Reiman, Director of the Foundation. “Oakland is one of the economic and cultural epicenters of Southwestern Pennsylvania, so initiatives such as this have positive impacts that reach well beyond Oakland’s borders. We applaud OBID for its efforts to help lead the way in safely recovering from the economic impacts of this pandemic.”

OBID will collaborate with many partners including the City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Qualaris Healthcare Solutions, Inc. Grant funds will be used for a Shop Safety business compliance program, a Gift Card incentive program and amenities for expanding outdoor dining areas such as tables, chairs and street barriers.

“We were absolutely thrilled to have been selected by the Foundation and we are ever grateful for their support” said Georgia Petropoulos, OBID Executive Director. “These unprecedented times call for innovative and out of the box solutions and we could not have brought our ideas to fruition without the support of our Foundation champion.”

Georgia Petropoulos is also a member of the City of Pittsburgh’s COVID-19 Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) Task Force on Streets and Mobility that developed recommendations to support the reopening of Pittsburgh during the Covid-19 health crisis.

For additional information about the Oakland Business Improvement District, or any ongoing projects, visit


Formed in 1999, the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) is the region’s second largest place management organization in Pittsburgh, representing a diverse group of decision makers including property and business owners, universities, hospitals, city government, community and cultural non-profits.

Founded in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation’s 2019 endowment was $2.7 billion and its Trustees in 2019 awarded 172 grants totaling $129 million, focused on the Foundation’s strategic priorities: economic development, education, environmental conservation and human services.

Request for Bids


The Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) seeks proposals from well qualified vendors to operate a public space cleaning and maintenance program within the boundaries of the Business Improvement District. Since 1999 the OBID’s Cleaning Program has provided a range of cleaning and maintenance services to a high standard intended to enhance the appearance and attractiveness of “common area” public spaces (primarily sidewalks from curb line to building line, including fixtures such as trash receptacles and utility poles) in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. As Pennsylvania’s 3rd largest economic generator and as the educational and medical hub of Western Pennsylvania, the perception of our neighborhood is vital to the economic health of the City of Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania region at large.


Click Here For Full Cleaning & Maintenance Program Request for Bids