The City of Sharon is announcing two grant programs – one for business facades and one for sandwich boards - for the Sharon business community that are currently open. The program, which runs through the municipality’s Community Development Block Grant Program, will provide funding for businesses to assist with façade improvements and marketing outreach.
“The façade funding, which is for Sharon-located businesses, comes from CDBG allocations approved for the 2021 program year,” said Suzanne Kepple, Sharon’s CDBG Program Manager, adding that the sandwich board program is a component of the activity. “We wanted to provide a smaller scope option that attracts customers with a physical marketing display.” The sandwich board grants are available for all Sharon-located businesses as well.
CDBG funding is administered by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), explained Kepple, adding that funds for the façade grant aids private for-profit businesses. The goal of the façade grant program is to improve real estate property aesthetics, create unified character, and drive visitation and business through curb appeal. This grant activity is in partnership with the Sharon Community Development Corporation (SCDC). "These can include signage, shutters, doors, downspouts, painting, awnings, lighting, accessibility - among other things," Ms. Kepple said, adding that other facade projects outside that scope would still be considered, depending on the project. This grant is up to $5,000 with a matching requirement of 25% of the project.
The facade grant program was created in collaboration with the SCDC, a community non-profit, that was formed per the Sharon business leadership visioning retreat held in March 2022, where attendees specified wanting to see visible, impactful changes that would be highlighted by programs such as these. The sandwich board grant would help provide visible awareness of the open hours of businesses in Sharon. The sandwich board grant is up to $500 with no match required. Previous grant programs in the past two years include websites and security cameras.
“By helping our business community have their own websites, they will now have a virtual presence that belongs to them, unlike social media, and will also elevate the online presence of the entire city,” explained Kepple. The façade and sandwich board grant will help support the brick and mortars, she added.
I’m happy that the city can assist our businesses and help them with their ability to grow and be sustainable.” said Bob Fiscus, Manager of the City of Sharon, adding that he’s pleased about providing more support for the Sharon business community in general.
Grant applications can be found below. They’ll also be announced on Sharon’s social media sites in February.
For additional details, contact Suzanne Kepple, at email@example.com; or 724.983.3231
ROUND 1 OF APPLICATION PROGRAM OPEN THROUGH APRIL 30, 2024