Four East Side neighborhoods are getting cash from the state to help small businesses there spruce up.
Empire State Development Corp. has approved $2 million in funding for Buffalo’s new East Side Commercial District Program, to support building renovations for small businesses in four business districts.
The funding, which is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s previously announced $50 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, is intended to help revive core streets and commercial corridors by preserving historic buildings, paying for capital improvements of key assets, and expanding business opportunities in the neighborhoods.
Both the larger fund and the new program – all of which are elements of the larger Buffalo Billion 2 initiative – are aimed at Michigan, Jefferson, Fillmore and Bailey avenues.
The Commercial District program will help expand businesses – such as retailers, restaurants and other services – while increasing mixed-use opportunities. ESD will work with nonprofits in each of the corridors to administer the program, with $500,000 allocated to each of the four areas.
Those include the University District Community Development Association, which will handle the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood; Citizens Alliance and the Black Chamber of Commerce, for Jefferson Avenue; and Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services, for both the MLK Park district and Broadway-Fillmore.
“We are revitalizing businesses in underserved neighborhoods, adding to the city’s overall livability, vitality and character and inviting the East Side to join in the economic recovery happening across Western New York,” said ESD’s acting commissioner and CEO-designate, Eric Gertler.
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