- City has allocated a total of $1.75 million in grants for façade and external business improvements along with startup funding for new City businesses
- Applications available through www.scrantonpa.gov/arpa
- Webinar scheduled for Friday, September 23, at 2 p.m. Register at https://bit.ly/arpabiz1
The City of Scranton opened grant applications for two programs designed to help small business with a total of $1.75 million in funding. Grants are available as a portion of the City’s total $68.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
“Small businesses and locally owned businesses are the backbone of Scranton’s economy,” said Mayor Paige G. Cognetti. “With our partners across the City, these grant programs will help renovate storefronts and invite entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams without leaving their hometown.”
Scranton has allocated $1.25 million in ARPA funds for business startup grants. Awards are available up to five percent of the total startup or expansion costs between $6,000 and $100,000. Business franchises are not eligible. The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania will help review applications.
New ARPA grants are in addition to existing City programs including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Business Micro-Grant program and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Loan-to-Grant program.
ARPA funding is also available for business façade improvements. Scranton will partner with three key organizations to oversee $500,000 in grants for the revitalization of neighborhood and downtown businesses across the City:
- NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania will aid businesses in West and North Scranton.
- Scranton Tomorrow will be the point-of-contact for downtown and Hill Section businesses.
- United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania will oversee improvements in South Scranton and the City’s Pine Brook and Minooka sections.
Each partner organization will initially receive equal amounts of façade grant funding. Additional funds will be released based on needs expressed by business owners.
Façade grants are available up to $10,000 with a 25 percent match for single storefronts. If multiple eligible small businesses share the same façade, they can submit a joint application for upgrades of up to $20,000 with the same 25 percent match.
Officials made the joint announcement at Vincenzo’s Pizzeria and Catering, 131 N. Main Ave., Scranton. After three decades in business, Vincenzo’s recently opened an outdoor patio and bar space which owner Vincenzo Cicco hopes to support with a façade grant program established by NeighborWorks earlier this year. Renovations were designed by Cicco’s son Antonio Cicco of Fancy Parsley Architecture + Design.
Organizations can access the grant application at www.scrantonpa.gov/arpa. Groups are also invited to register at www.bit.ly/arpabiz1 for a webinar outlining the grant process on Friday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. Applications will remain open for one year, and applications are first-come, first-served.
Additional information about the City of Scranton’s ARPA plan can be found at scrantonpa.gov/arpa.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021: ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton has been awarded $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents.