The Conference of Mayors’ is sharing success stories daily on what Community Development Block Grants support in our nation’s cities.
The City of Buffalo is committed to preserving the integrity of our unique architecture and culture. One example of this is our Beverly Gray Business Incubator, located in a low-moderate income neighborhood on the East side of Buffalo. This vacant library was converted into a functional space in order to provide a unique workplace for small neighborhood businesses, with support provided specifically to minority and/or women-owned business. The Incubator will serve as a “one-stop shop” for neighborhood businesses to give the community access to services and the technical assistance necessary to operate a successful business. The total project cost was $1,739,848.00 with $559,642.17 of that being CDBG funds. This project allowed the City to retain the architectural and historical significance of this 1929 building. This building was the largest branch designed by Howard L. Beck, and is one of five revival style branches constructed throughout the city, and Beck’s most elaborate use of Renaissance detaining. Along with the historical preservation significance of this project, the economic leverage that this project provides will have limitless potential. The Beverly Gray Business Incubator will serve as a needed springboard for businesses that need it most. The Incubator will help produce a revolving door of thriving businesses who will grow, hire employees, and contribute in deed, or product throughout our community.
The City of Knoxville’s Commercial Facade Improvement Program provides funds to improve the exteriors of commercial buildings to expand economic development and create new businesses and jobs. These are targeted to low/moderate income redevelopment commercial districts. A maximum of $50,000 per building is matched at 20% by the owner. The private funds that are leveraged always exceed the minimum match since the building interior improvements are funded with private funds. This program has proven to create new businesses in formerly vacant buildings, create permanent jobs, spur economic growth in depressed economic areas and provide new neighborhood commercial amenities for residents.