Storefront Improvement Program – Building Your Customer Base

Building a customer base is fundamental to the success of all businesses. In many ways, the appearance of a business – or its storefront – can affect the opinion of those customers. Late last month, I joined with local business owners to announce a new storefront improvement program designed to revitalize our city’s building façades and attract more customer s to small businesses across Providence. This , the Storefront Improvement Program, is one of 20 action steps identified in my economic development plan, Putting Providence Back to Work, which I released in March last year and on which we are making sure and steady progress.


Providence is known for its diverse, historic neighborhoods, which are anchored by small businesses. The storefront improvement program is designed to attract customers to existing businesses, revitalize local business districts, and enhance the beauty and safety of Providence’s neighborhoods.
Participating businesses are eligible to receive reimbursements for 50 percent of eligible storefront costs, up to $10,000. The city’s Department of Economic Development will assist small businesses that wish to make changes to their exterior storefronts, including awnings, signage, windows, doors, permanent landscaping, and façade improvements. The program is open to small businesses with 18 or fewer full-time employees.
I was proud to make the announcement at a popular area restaurant, Los Andes, whose owner – Cesin Curi, agreed, “Customers are often attracted by the look of our storefronts and the funding will help us to draw new customers while beautifying our neighborhood.”


To be eligible for the program, a business must meet at least one of the following criteria:
• Business serves a predominantly low/moderate income population
• Business will be able to create a job for a low/moderate income individual
• Business will be removing neighborhood blight as part of the project


The program is funded with $250,000 from the Providence Economic Development Partnership, and applications will be accepted, reviewed and approved on a rolling basis, based on the availability of funding.
“This is a great opportunity to make a direct impact in the economic well-being of our small businesses, while improving the quality of life of our neighborhoods,” said James S. Bennett, Director of Economic Development. More information is available at

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