Small Akron businesses will receive grants to renovate their façades through a program that targets neglected areas for improvement.
The grants come from Great Streets Akron, an initiative that selects 10 historic neighborhood-business districts in Akron for efforts to improve vitality. The areas include Maple Valley, West Hill, North Hill, Copley Road East, Middlebury, Firestone Park, Ellet, Wallhaven, Goodyear Heights and Kenmore.
James Hardy, the chief of staff for Akron’s mayor, says the first two programs in the initiative, the façade grant program and a micro-loan program, have shown signs of success.
“We’re hopeful that our Great Streets initiative can be a model for how to take limited resources and make some tough decisions, no doubt, but target those resources to create a greater community impact over a short period of time,” Hardy says.
Hardy says both programs are funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant program, through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The goal is to award 43 grants.