Storefront & Sidewalk Cafe Grant to serve as incentive for more investment in street level business improvements!
Tampa, FL – (March 19, 2013) Tampa Downtown Partnership has just launched a new matching grant program to support investment in storefront improvement projects and sidewalk cafes. Downtown retailers and restaurants can take advantage of the grant to freshen up and enhance their street presence.
Who: Downtown business or property owners with street level storefronts may apply for the grant. Tampa Downtown Partnership administers the program which is funded by the Tampa Downtown Special Service District (SSD) Funds.
What: 2013 Downtown SSD Storefront & Sidewalk Cafe Grant Program – 50% matching grant, with a max of $2,500 per storefront for storefront facade improvements, awnings, signage, and creation or improvement of sidewalk cafe. $25,000 total budget is allocated for 2013.
When: The program was launched on Monday March 18, 2013 and applications are accepted through December 31, 2013. The applications are reviewed on a monthly basis and the first applicantion review meeting is expected to be held on or around April 10.
Where: Downtown Special Service District (see map for boundaries on web page link below)
Background: In 2010, the Downtown Partnership initiated an Event Grant Program that has “seeded” a myriad of special events to help activate public space and parks in Downtown Tampa. Historically, the grant program was budgeted annually at $50,000, and applications were considered by the Downtown SSD Committee. An event grant amount could be awarded up to 20% of event expenses with a cap of $5,000.
The Downtown SSD Committee recently approved reallocating $25,000 of the $50,000 grant dollars for the new storefront and sidewalk cafe grant program. The other $25,000 will be available for the continuing SSD Event Grant program, with a cap of 20% of expenses not to exceed $2,500 per grant for calendar year 2013.
Rick Davis, Downtown SSD Committee Chairman said, “The new grant is a catalyst for further investment at street level. This type of program is on target with the goal of the SSD, which is to enhance the quality of the downtown experience.”
Partnership president, Christine Burdick noted that results of the 2012 Biennial Downtown Workforce and Resident Study confirmed that there is a high level of satisfaction level for the urban lifestyle downtown offers, but there is demand for an even more dynamic pedestrian environment. “The word “walkability” kept coming up in survey answers. Our study results confirm this new grant program focuses on exactly what our consumers are asking for.”
The Tampa Downtown Partnership (TDP) is a private, membership based not-for-profit 501(c)6 comprised of companies, organizations and individuals with a common goal of advancing Tampa’s Downtown. Through an annual contract with the City of Tampa, the TDP administers the Special Services District. In addition to Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team, the TDP serves downtown through marketing, business development, transportation, advocacy, planning and beautification. For more information, visit www.tampasdowntown.com.