Fund for Warren's Future Gives $29K in Grants

Warren Businesses Eligible for More Exterior Funding

WARREN, Ohio – Businesses interested in making exterior improvements to their buildings and storefronts in the city can apply for up to $10,000 to assist them.

The city announced Friday a second round of grant funding has been allocated after the first round assisted more than 50 businesses.

“This program has been a huge success,” said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin. “It is great that Warren City Council members – using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act – finally had the opportunity to develop a grant program to help our local business owners. I can already see the impact the first round of funding is having and am thrilled that we will be able to help more of our businesses with this next round. My administration has made initiatives like this a top priority.”

The Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corporation will continue to administer the grant program, reviewing and scoring applications through WRAP’s Design Review Committee with input from City Council members. Vince Peterson II, WRAP’s new economic development and special projects manager, will facilitate this round of funding.

Eligible improvements would include signage, awnings, lighting, painting, window and door replacement, handicap accessibility, landscaping and historic architectural improvements, as well as other ideas or initiatives.

Only commercial properties in the city of Warren qualify, not residential properties or home-based businesses. Those who received the full $10,000 are not eligible for the second round, but those who received less than $10,000 are eligible. Paving projects are not eligible.

According to Melissa Phillips, WRAP executive director, first-round grant dollars were instrumental in the Chat-n-Chew restaurant painting its entire building on West Market Street; Chosen One Car Detailing on Niles Road installing new overhead doors and painting areas of its building; the replacement of awnings and a planned updating of the sign of the Warren Baking Co. on Youngstown-Warren Road; the addition of awnings at the CBS Barber Shop on Highland Avenue; and a new digital sign at the Ohio Inn on North Park Avenue.

In many cases, the grant funds supplemented a larger project, Philips said. She called the program a way to partner with the city “to work in unison to shape Warren’s future.”
Deadline to apply is April 14. Potential applicants can attend one of the two in-person meetings Peterson will host at the Warren Public Library or watch online information sessions. Meetings information and the application can be found HERE under the tab Business Loans and Grants.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.