Utica business assistance fund targets downtown revitalization

 Utica business assistance fund targets downtown revitalization

Another piece of Utica’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is coming to fruition with a business assistance fund. 

The $1 million fund is available for business owners and properties within the DRI target area, which generally follows the Genesee Street corridor and part of Broad Street. The funds can be used in several different ways, including property improvements, signage and permanent commercial equipment. 

“In order for any community to prosper, it must have successful small businesses,” Mayor Robert Palmieri said in a statement. “We have an obligation to do everything possible to assist our small businesses, and the Business Assistance Fund provides business and property owners in the DRI footprint a great opportunity to invest.”

A view of the boundary adjustments approved by the Utica's Downtown Revitalization Initiative local planning committee. The pink adjustment, which includes the Utica Steam Cotton Factory, has been tabled. The yellow adjustment around Hotel Street and blue adjustment around the Carol L Crooms Cultural Center, and the related projects, will stand.

The business assistance fund includes $750,000 in state DRI funds, along with additional funds from the federal Community Development Block Grant program and/or American Rescue Plan Act to assist with matching.

A commercial project can be awarded as much as $40,000 in DRI funds if the total project cost exceeds $80,000. The required match — $40,000 in private funds — can be partially offset by the city providing $30,000 of that amount. 

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