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City launches storefront improvement grant program

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From the City:


Mayor Taveras Launches Storefront Improvement Program to Revitalize Building Facades, Support Small Businesses

Program is a priority in Mayor’s economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras, joined by local business owners and business leaders, announced the launch of a new storefront improvement program this morning. The program will support the revitalization of building facades and small businesses across Providence. The initiative is one of the steps identified in Mayor Taveras’ 20-point economic development plan, Putting Providence Back to Work.

“Providence is known for its diverse, historic neighborhoods, which are anchored by small businesses,” said Mayor Taveras. “The storefront improvement program is designed to attract customers to existing businesses, revitalize local business districts, and enhance the beauty and safety of Providence’s neighborhoods.”

Participating businesses are eligible to receive reimbursements for 50-percent of eligible storefront costs, up to $10,000. The city’s Department of Economic Development will assist small businesses that wish to make changes to their exterior storefronts, including awnings, signage, windows, doors, permanent landscaping, and façade improvements. The program is open to small businesses with 18 or fewer full-time employees.

This morning’s announcement was held at Los Andes Restaurant on Chalkstone Avenue.

“We’re excited to see a new storefront improvement program in Providence and look forward to applying for funding to help revitalize our restaurant,” said Cesin Curi, co-owner of Los Andes Restaurant. “Customers are often attracted by the look of our storefronts and the funding will help us to draw new customers while beautifying our neighborhood.”

To be eligible for the program, a business must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Business serves a predominantly low/moderate income population
  • Business will be able to create a job for a low/moderate income individual
  • Business will be removing neighborhood blight as part of the project

The program is funded with $250,000 from the Providence Economic Development Partnership, and applications will be accepted, reviewed and approved on a rolling basis, based on the availability of funding.

“This is a great opportunity to make a direct impact in the economic well-being of our small businesses, while improving the quality of life of our neighborhoods,” said James S. Bennett, director of economic development.

More information is available at providenceri.com/storefront.

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