City programs will provide up to $50k to improve interiors of businesses

Two new city programs will help establish or upgrade high-quality retail businesses on commercial corridors, including Passyunk Avenue, South Street, Fabric Row, the Italian Market and most other South Philly centers of commerce.

And there is an informational session for business owners tomorrow morning, so if you know of someone who would be a good fit for this program, send them a link to this story or share it on Facebook TODAY.

South Street pic from

The first program is by the Merchants Fund, which would provide up to $50,000 grants that would be matched with an owner’s contribution to make interior improvements to stores. This program is in addition to the city’s facade improvement program, which the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation has already augmented with its own facade program (B2, Sermania, eventually more).

The second program is entitled InStore; a new forgivable loan program created by the Department of Commerce in partnership with the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. The loan program helps eligible retail, food and creative for-profit or nonprofit programs purchase equipment necessary for their development or expansion.

Improvements include kitchenware, security systems, phone systems, and flooring. Loan amounts are between $15,000 and $50,000 dollars, funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant program. Applicants interested in InStore should contact Jonathan Snyder after the information session at 215-683-2153 or

There will be a briefing for you to learn more about these programs tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 10:30 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor, City Planning Room (18-029). For more information, check here.

And a special thank you goes out to the helpful reader who tipped us off to these programs. If you see anything the rest of South Philly should know about, send us an email at