Roselight Interiors and Hair Do'ers along Main St. in the city of Tonawanda are two of the businesses that participated in a matching grant program aimed at revitalizing their storefronts. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke outside the businesses on Monday, Aug. 6
Tonawanda businesses use matching grants to improve storefronts
Tonawanda (WBEN) -- Ten businesses in city of Tonawanda have benefited from a matching-grant program that helped improve their storefronts.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Monday morning spoke along Main St. in Tonawanda, where most of the affected businesses are located. Poloncarz congratulated the businesses that participated in the program.
Poloncarz joined Maria Whyte, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, Ron Pilozzi, mayor of the city of Tonawanda, and local business owners to discuss the program and those businesses that have benefited from it.
The Erie County Commercial Center Improvement Program (CCIP) helped the businesses with grant funds for exterior architectural services and renovations.
"It provides local governments and local businesses, especially, with matching grants to improve exteriors, lighting, and more. It gives business owners a boost in renovating their storefronts, replacing outdated windows and signs and masonry, and refreshing their images," Poloncarz said.
The businesses invested a total of more than $207,000, he added.
The Erie County CCIP is a 50-50 matching grant program utilizing federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Erie County administers the program and contracts with an architectural consultant to carry out the necessary improvements. An eligible business can apply for a matching grant of up to $10,000.
The program promotes physical improvements, including new signage, awnings, lighting, and masonry work, while adhering to all state historic preservation guidelines.
Businesses in the city of Tonawanda participating in the CCIP program are located along Main St. from Niagara and Seymour, and include Roselight Interiors, Hair Do'ers Salon, American Legion Post #264, PJ Hooligan's restaurant, Hair After/Sturner Studio, Sweet Briar Antiques, Complete Homecare Inc., Washingtown DC, Tonawanda Wine & Liquor, Dome Stadium restaurant, Medical Claims, Inc., and Smoke on the Water restaurant, according to Poloncarz's office.
The improvements have generated some more customer traffic, says Lynn Chabriele, with Roselight Interiors.
"As they drive by, they say they're going to stop ... and eventually, they do stop because there is a draw from the buildings looking so beautiful, and they're much more energy efficient," she said.
The Erie County CCIP began in 2004 and has been active in the villages of Springville and Gowanda, as well as the hamlets of Holland and Eden, in addition to the recently completed work in the city of Tonawanda. A total of 35 businesses have been assisted through the program, which is currently active in the village of Lancaster.
Clinton Brown Associates of Buffalo is the current architectural consultant for the program, according to the county executive's office.