Hochul, Albany Shovel Out $5 Million to Niagara Falls in Effort to “Revitalize” Downtown

Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced that applications are available for the Niagara Falls Small Business Property Improvement Program. The $5 million program will provide grants of up to 50 percent of total project costs, up to $100,000 per property, to eligible small businesses to foster revitalization of traditional mixed-use business districts. The funds to small business and property owners can be used for commercial improvements such as facade restoration and other mixed-use building upgrades. Eligibility is based, in part, on whether a business is located within the designated program district.

“The City of Niagara Falls is on the rise again,” said the Governor with a presumably straight face, “and thanks to a public-private partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and other private funders, we are taking a collaborative approach to bolster the key commercial corridors in Niagara Falls. These small business grants will help to continue the steady revitalization of downtown Niagara Falls by improving the business climate, increasing mixed-use opportunities, and breathing life into empty storefronts.”

Someone needs to tell the Governor that “breathing life into empty storefronts” on Main Street is tantamount to giving CPR to a corpse.

Last we checked, the state realizes over $25 million a year from the parking lots, food service and other retail in its solely-owned and operated Niagara Falls State Park. Imagine what the city’s business district would look like if that $25 million, with its multiplier effect, was spent in downtown Niagara Falls every year instead of the industrial tourism complex that is Albany’s Niagara Falls State Park.

However, if your business needs a new sign, paint job or bullet-proof windows, here are links to more information and an application.

Your business must be on one of three designated streets, Pine, Niagara or Main, as illustrated below.


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