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Mayor Barlow announces $525,000 Downtown Improvement Fund for Downtown Businesses

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow announced today the launch of the Oswego Downtown Improvement Fund, one of twelve projects from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) the City of Oswego captured in July of 2016.  The Oswego Downtown Improvement Fund makes $525,000 available in grant funding to downtown Oswego businesses for improvements, renovations and expansions ranging from small $3,000 grants for new signage and outdoor programming opportunities to approximately $60,000 grants for large scale renovations and expansions. 

“The Downtown Improvement Fund provides our small downtown businesses the opportunity to improve their storefront and participate in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  After winning the DRI, we were committed to using a portion of the $10 million funding to help our downtown existing small businesses.  On a regular basis, I am approached by business owners looking for grant funding to improve their business. Finally having grant money available to offer to those business owners is very exciting and will certainly add to our comprehensive downtown revitalization plan," said Mayor Barlow.  “This rare opportunity to have accessible grant funding to our small business community can have an enormous impact on the appearance and vitality of our downtown.  I strongly encourage downtown business owners to apply for this funding and I look forwarded to working with them on enhancing downtown Oswego," Barlow said. 

The $525,000 Downtown Improvement Fund aims to fund ten façade improvement projects, approximately five new building sign improvement projects and four residential or commercial expansion projects.  Eligible businesses must be located in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative boundary and may apply for multiple grants. 

Mayor Barlow also announced he will be hosting two public informational sessions on May 22nd to discuss the application process, eligible activities, scoring criteria and other important information to ensure all business owners are aware of the available grant funding.  “I want every business owner in our downtown to be aware of this opportunity as we work to make the most of this funding.  These improvement projects have the capability to dramatically change our downtown and I look forward to assisting our small business community as these plans and projects develop," Barlow concluded. 

The two public informational sessions will be held on May 22nd from 5:00pm to 6:00pm and a second session from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the Oswego Canal Commons Conference Room at 197 West First Street, Oswego.  Pre-applications will be made available at the informational session and general applications will be made available on June 1st at the Oswego Economic Development Office located at 44 East Bridge Street, Oswego.  

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