PA Route 6 Alliance Awarded $100k DCED Grant for Façade Program in Lackawanna County
The PA Route 6 Alliance and partner Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area recently announced the award of $100,000 through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Keystone Communities Program. With additional support from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), this grant will help facilitate the PA Route 6 Façade Program in Lackawanna County.
The PA Route 6 Façade Program provides local business owners with matching funds to improve storefronts and other projects. To date, the PA Route 6 Facade Program has helped businesses in the PA Wilds (2020), Endless Mountains (2021), and Great Lakes Region (2022). Prior programs have resulted in façade and storefront improvements to 111 businesses with an estimated economic impact of over $1 Million dollars in these communities.
“We are grateful for the continued support of the DCED and the DCNR so that we can offer the facade program to businesses throughout the Route 6 corridor,” says Candace Hillyard, executive director of PA Route 6 Alliance, “and we’re excited to work with our partners to help local businesses in Lackawanna County. Our goal is to eventually host the program in all 11 counties across the PA Route 6 corridor.”
Owen Worozbyt, director of operations for the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area, is hopeful that the façade grant program will be a welcome endeavor for addressing the needs of local business owners.
“We’re enthusiastic about working alongside the PA Route 6 Alliance to bring this program to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley,” said Worozbyt. “We hope that the façade program helps to reinvigorate a number of Lackawanna County’s local establishments, ultimately improving the economic vitality of our region’s small businesses and strengthening the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”
The Alliance estimates that 20-25 businesses in Lackawanna County will benefit from the current grant through DCDED’s Keystone Communities Program.
The Keystone Communities Program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors that jointly support local initiatives such as the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities, social and economic diversity, and a strong and secure quality of life. The program allows communities to tailor the assistance to meet the needs of its specific revitalization.
All funds from these projects stay local. Projects engage local contractors, construction companies, hardware stores, and sign shops, all of whom employ local residents. The result is a trickle-down effect that stimulates local economies and has a much larger economic impact that extends well beyond the funds associated with each grant.
Lackawanna County commercial building owners and businesses/nonprofits (with property owner approval) will be able to apply for up to $5,000 each toward upgrades and improvements of their building’s façade (front exterior visible from the road). Recipients will be required to invest 1:1 matching funds into the project making a maximum total project cost of no more than $10,000. Commercial buildings may be located anywhere in Lackawanna County, and eligible improvements include but are not limited to exterior paint, new signage, windows, and canvas awning replacement.
Public meetings to explain the guidelines and grant procedures are scheduled for:
- Tuesday, February 7th, at 6:00pm at Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, 27 North Main St., Carbondale
- Wednesday, February 8th, at 10:00am at Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, 27 North Main St., Carbondale
- Wednesday, February 8th, at 6:00pm at the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area, 213 Railroad Ave., Scranton
- Thursday, February 9th, at 10:00am at the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area, 213, Railroad Ave., Scranton
All applicants are required to attend a meeting as well as connect with Façade Program Coordinator to discuss their potential projects before applying.
Additionally, a virtual Zoom meeting will take place Wednesday, February 16th, at 6:00pm. Attendees must pre-register for all meetings and follow-up emails will be sent with additional information and links for the Zoom meeting.
For more information about the PA Route 6 Façade Program or to register for a public meeting, visit www.paroute6.com/pa-route-6-facade-program-in-lackawanna-county.
The PA Route 6 Alliance, a 501(c3) corporation, was established in 2003 to manage the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor and to implement branding and marketing plans, community development programs and other planning efforts along the corridor. The Alliance includes representatives from all 11 counties, 9 convention and visitor bureaus, 4 heritage areas, local development districts, local business owners, Chambers of Commerce, and other interested parties along the corridor.
The PA Route 6 Heritage Communities program is a program of PA Route 6 Alliance and PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor funded by the PA Heritage Area Program under the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.