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County Announces Pilot Program to Revitalize Local Downtown Areas

From Left to Right: Robert Walsh, JGSC Consultants; Joan McDonald, Westchester County Director of Operations; Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County Office of Economic Development Director; Shari Rosen Ascher, Westchester County Director of Policy & Programs; Emily Saltzman, Deputy Director of Operations; Westchester County Executive George Latimer; Deputy Westchester County Executive, Ken Jenkins.

In a groundbreaking public-private pilot program to provide up to $1 million to strengthen local downtown areas, Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced this week the next phase of Westchester County Office of Economic Development’s Business FIRST Program focusing on downtown improvement and stimulating economic revitalization at the local level.

This Pilot Grant Program will help four municipalities reimagine and revitalize their downtown economic engine through a program consisting of professional consulting and up to $250,000 in implementation support.

“The Business FIRST Downtown Improvement Grant Program is part of our continued response to listening and responding to the needs of those who do business in Westchester. It will help ensure our businesses and the local communities they help build have the support and resources to remain vibrant and innovative as we look into the future. The key part of this grant is its tailored public-private approach to support each community selected,” said Latimer.

Each grantee will receive strategic one-on-one support to help grow consumer foot-traffic, retain existing businesses, recruit targeted-new businesses, provide training, and explore innovative new ways to strengthen and market their community through comprehensive analysis and a detailed action plan.

“Revitalization and growth are core components of the work that we do. This Pilot Program is an important step towards rebuilding our local economies and we are proud to support our municipalities as they embark upon this critical – and often overwhelming – work,” said Westchester County Director of Operations and Chairperson of the County of Westchester Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Joan McDonald.

“Looking past the impact of COVID-19 on our downtowns, these are areas poised with opportunity for new growth and reinvigoration. We are pleased to offer a resource to support local municipalities as they undergo this process of revitalization,” said Westchester County Director of Economic Development Bridget Gibbons.

Learn more about the application process.

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