Based on the success of the Vineland Mainstreet Facade program and requests from business owners outside of the downtown area, the city is launching a new Exterior Improvement Program on July 1, which has been dubbed “Project Beautify.” The program will be available to UEZ-certified small businesses and nonprofits with 10 employees or less located anywhere within the Vineland Urban Enterprise Zone. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has authorized $1.5 million in UEZ funding to be used for the program. The program will be available until funding has been depleted.
“The Exterior Improvement Program will offer five-year forgivable loans with a maximum amount of $50,000, and a 10 percent match by the property owner,” said Mayor Anthony Fanucci. “It is designed to improve the appearance of Vineland’s commercial corridors which are the economic arteries of the city. This Project Beautify is part of our overall strategy to attract customers and new businesses to Vineland, as well as to support our existing businesses in the city.
According to Economic Development Director Sandy Forosisky, “Funding is restricted to exterior improvements which are approved by the Project Review Committee. This would include things such as building façade, awnings, lighting, signage, landscaping, parking, trash enclosures, and other related exterior improvements recommended by the Committee. The program does not include new construction expenses and is limited to those that have the greatest impact on the building’s appearance. If any improvements trigger a site plan approval, funding will be held until such approval is obtained.”
“Investing in the community through a variety of infrastructure improvements including roads, parks, municipal utilities, public safety, and now commercial properties is critical to ensuring long-lasting and equitable economic development throughout the city,” Fanucci noted. “These investments help to create new jobs, improve the vibrancy and quality of life in our neighborhoods, and make the city more attractive for investment and opportunity.
To apply for the Program, businesses must be UEZ certified, pay prevailing wages, and be in tax compliance. It is anticipated that the demand for funding will be greater than the amount available, so funded improvements will be based on those that have the greatest impact on aesthetics.
For more information about the program, or how to become a certified UEZ business, contact 856-794-4000, ext. 4102.
Applications for the Exterior Improvement Program will be available beginning July 1 at the Vineland UEZ office on the 4th Floor of City Hall, or from the home page of the city website at vinelandcity.org.