Neighborhood Storefronts will Continue to Improve Despite Federal SIP GuidelinesJune 24, 2015 Category: Purpose
The Storefront Improvement Program will continue, thanks to help from Councilman Bobby Henon, other members of Council and Mayor Michael Nutter, who worked to fund the program with the city’s General Funds in the FY16 budget. The budget, passed by City Council and signed by Mayor Nutter last week, contains $535,000 in locally generated revenue to fund the program.
SIP provides a reimbursable grant to fix up blighted, vacant and unsightly storefronts and has helped make small businesses in neighborhood corridors more attractive to new potential shoppers.
“This program was transforming our neighborhood commercial corridors and spurring neighborhood revitalization,” said Beth McConnell, Policy Director for the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC), in a press release. “But it became too difficult to work with because of federal rules associated with its key funding source, federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, that were applied to the program in December 2014.”
As a result, Henon led an effort in City Council to advocate for funding for SIP and was joined by 11 other council members in a letter calling on Mayor Nutter to save the program.
“Councilman Henon led the charge to save this program because of how transformative it’s been on Torresdale Avenue in Tacony. Thanks to his work, other members of City Council and the Mayor, SIP will be available to help corridors throughout all of Philadelphia,” McConnell added.
Photo via Alex Balloon