New program encourages small businesses to improve storefronts
PBN FILE PHTO/FRANK MULLIN
PROVIDENCE MAYOR ANGEL TAVERAS on Thursday announced the new storefront improvement program, through which eligible small businesses will be able to receive reimbursement for 50 percent of the cost for improvements made to their façade.
PROVIDENCE – Mayor Angel Taveras announced Thursday the launch of a program to reimburse small businesses in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods for storefront improvements.
Through the program, eligible businesses with 18 or fewer full-time employees will be reimbursed for 50 percent (up to $10,000) of the cost for changes to their exterior façade, including awnings, signage, windows, doors and permanent landscaping.
“Providence is known for its diverse, historic neighborhoods, which are anchored by small businesses,” said Taveras at an announcement event held Thursday morning at Los Andes Restaurant on Chalkstone Avenue. “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.”
The program, funded with $250,000 from the Providence Economic Development Partnership, is one of the steps identified in Taveras’ 20-point economic development plan, “Putting Providence Back to Work.”
To be eligible for the program, businesses must meet at least one of the following criteria:
Business serves a predominantly low- or moderate-income population.
Business will be able to create a job for a low- or moderate-income individual.
Business will be removing neighborhood blight as part of the project.
Applications from businesses that wish to participate in the program will be accepted, reviewed and approved on a rolling basis, based on the availability of funding, according to a release from Taveras’ office.
“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 for Providence.
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