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Downtown Tampa businesses offered $5,000 grants for outdoor improvements

The Tampa Downtown Partnership’s free grants are designed to spur street-level beautification.
A view of downtown Tampa from above St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on June 2.
A view of downtown Tampa from above St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on June 2. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Aug. 5

Downtown Tampa businesses that had to put off exterior renovations due to the financial hardships of the coronavirus pandemic could have a little boost coming their way.

The Tampa Downtown Partnership, a private group aimed at improving life and business activity downtown, announced Thursday that it’s offering some businesses free $5,000 grants for street-level repairs and renovations, such as repairs to awnings, facades and signs; or furniture, umbrellas and landscaping for sidewalk cafes.

Such funding normally comes in the form of the partnership’s matching Storefront and Sidewalk Cafe Grant Program. But through Aug. 20, the partnership has removed the matching component, making the grants essentially free.

“Our hope is this infusion of cash will allow some businesses to make improvements or additions that they were forced to pass on because of the economic struggles of the past year and a half,” Tampa Downtown Partnership president and CEO Lynda Remund said in a statement.

The grants are only open to street-level businesses within the Downtown Tampa Special Services District, which approximately runs east-west from the University of Tampa to Port Tampa Bay, and north-south from just north of Palm Avenue to Garrison Channel.

Applicants must square away all necessary permitting before they get any grant money. Applications are available at TampasDowntown.com.