Small businesses form the backbone of our local economy and help define the character of downtown New Rochelle. Supporting existing shops and restaurants and encouraging new business owners to invest here are essential to a well-rounded development strategy. For over a decade, New Rochelle’s Business Improvement District has been a forceful partner for these goals.

On Wednesday, the BID and the City announced a $500,000 New York State Main Street Grant for the BID’s successful Facade Improvement Program which has already helped to renovate more than 75 storefronts over the years. In many cases, beautiful and distinctive historic facades have been restored, greatly enhancing the atmosphere for shoppers and attracting the attention of investors.

This new grant will enable the BID to continue funding the Facade Improvement Program for properties representing an additional 50 storefronts and will also leverage a significantly larger private contribution from property owners, with a major beneficial impact on our central business district as a whole.

It’s great news at just the right time, so congratulations to the BID on submitting a successful application to a highly competitive program. We can all look forward to positive changes as a result.