Germantown United CDC currently holds a Targeted Corridor Management Program (TCMP) grant from the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce.
What does that mean, exactly?
Vibrant commercial corridors or “Main Streets” contribute to strong neighborhoods. They provide a place to work, shop, and meet your neighbors. What strong corridors have in common is a corridor manager that provides assistance to businesses, brings planning and resources to the corridor, oversees activities to make the corridor clean and safe, and works to attract new businesses to the area. The City of Philadelphia supports the redevelopment of commercial corridors by providing funding to community based development organizations, like Germantown United CDC, to hire Corridor Management staff. Funding for Corridor Managers is awarded through a competitive Request for Proposals process.
Our staff works closely with representatives from the Department of Commerce to funnel resources into Germantown’s commercial corridors as part of our grant and unique working relationship.
There are several funding resources offered by Commerce currently available to local businesses. These grant and loan opportunities are vital to launching, renovating and expanding businesses, improving storefronts and interiors, purchasing equipment, installing security systems, and more. Learn about the most popular programs below and read GU’s Tips for insight into what program is right for your business.
When you’re ready to get started, reach out to us!
Contact: Emaleigh Doley
Corridor Manager, Germantown United CDC
firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-856-4303
Five Funding Resources Offered by the Department of Commerce
Last updated: August 2017
The Capital Consortium
GU Tip: The Capital Consortium streamlines and improves the process for businesses who need to apply for a loan.
The Capital Consortium is a group of nonprofit and for profit commercial lenders who work together with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce to improve access to capital for small businesses throughout the city. Member organizations provide loans and technical assistance to small businesses in order to help them start and grow. The Consortium works to streamline and improve the process for businesses to apply for loans.
If you are a business owner in Germantown and would like to obtain a loan from one of the Consortium members listed here, please complete the Financing Request Form. This form helps Capital Consortium members learn more about your business and your capital needs. Your information will be shared with the Consortium members and if your project and capital needs match available resources, members of the consortium will contact you directly within ten (10) business days.
Storefront Improvement Program (SIP)
GU Tip: If you are a business or property owner looking to improve the look of your business from the street – from new signage and lighting, to doors and windows, a paint job, and more – SIP is here to help reduce the overall project costs.
This program reimburses owners of commercial buildings and businesses within designated commercial corridors who make storefront improvements. The program can reimburse up to 50% of the cost of eligible improvements to a maximum of $10,000 for a single commercial property, or up to $15,000 for a multiple-address or corner business property. Examples of eligible improvements include but are not limited to:
- signage and awnings
- see-through security grills
- exterior painting
- exterior doors
- exterior façade lighting
- masonry/brick pointing
Your project must be located on an eligible commercial corridor. There are many locations within Germantown’s commercial business districts that are eligible for funding (yay!). Both property owners and tenants can utilize this program. Program guidelines require pre-approval of all eligible expenses for reimbursement, and funding is subject to availability. If you are based in Germantown and interested in applying for SIP, reach out to Germantown United CDC to get started.
A few local businesses that have utilized the Storefront Improvement Program recently include:
- G-town Sports, 5620 Germantown Ave
- Germantown Espresso Bar, 26 Maplewood Mall
- Inner Circle Midwifery, 5443 Germantown Ave
- G-town Radio, 24 Maplewood Mall
- The Weave Bar, 5603 Germantown Ave
Business Security Camera Program
GU Tip: Need a new camera system? Save up to $3,000. Germantown United CDC has assisted over two dozen businesses in getting reduced cost exterior security camera systems, collectively improving safety of the shopping district.
The City encourages businesses to install external security cameras to increase safety in public areas for shoppers, employees and residents by reimbursing the cost of equipment and installation. Through the program, the Commerce Department awards applicants up to 50% of the total cost of eligible improvements with a maximum reimbursement of $3,000 per single commercial property. Business Associations or other organizations may apply for the award collectively for cameras to be placed on multiple properties within an area and receive 50% reimbursement for the project costs.
Kiva Micro Lending
GU Tip: Kiva loans are crowdfunded online. Participating in Kiva is also a great marketing opportunity to promote your business and tell your story.
Kiva helps businesses obtain 0% loans up to $10,000.
Kiva is a website that enables financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs to access 0% interest small business loans. These loans are crowdfunded by hundreds of lenders from around the world who read your story, lend you as little as $25 each, and rally around your business as potential customers, business advisers, and brand ambassadors. The Department of Commerce is partnering with Kiva to bring this innovative funding to small businesses in Philadelphia.
Germantown United CDC is a Kiva Trustee. Kiva Trustees are individual organizations that publicly vouch for small business owners to borrow money on the Kiva website. The Kiva loan review team prioritizes loans endorsed by Trustees, so get in touch with us!
Loan Purpose: You can use a Kiva loan for any business purpose: Purchase inventory; Invest in equipment; expand product lines; Hire staff; Marketing & advertising.
Loan Details: Small size: first loans are $10,000 or less; Short loan term: 36 months or less; 0% interest; Administered via PayPal; Crowdfunded on Kiva.org.
GU Tip: The InStore Program is highly competitive. Before completing the lengthy application, first reach out to Commerce directly to discuss eligibility!
The InStore Program is a forgivable loan program that helps eligible retail, food, and creative for-profit and non-profit businesses purchase equipment and materials associated with establishing a new location or expanding at an existing one.
You may be eligible if you own a property occupied by a retail, food, or creative business and are planning to open a new location, make improvements to an existing location in order to expand services or business activities, and/or upgrade equipment.
Your project must be located on an eligible commercial corridor. (Eligible corridors are listed in the InStore Guidelines.)
Eligible improvements include: security systems, telephone systems, alarm systems, point of sale equipment, kitchen equipment, computer ordering systems, millwork, flooring, lighting, sound systems, theater seating, display furnishings and shelving, HVAC equipment, coolers, refrigeration units, specialty piping, and more.
The forgivable loan amount is $15,000 – $50,000 for a project. The forgivable loan does not require payments and is forgiven if the recipient meets program guidelines for five (5) years.
The above text is adapted from the Department of Commerce website.