Posted: July 24, 2014 8:57 am


The Erie Downtown Partnership awarded $41,120 in grant money to 10 local establishments at a 10:00 am press conference today at La Rue Dix, 21 West 10th Street, Erie. Grantees will use funds for: architectural elements, such as windows and doors; exterior painting and restoration; signs and awnings; and professional design assistance. This 2014 grant program of the EDP is designed to support the growth of businesses, preserve historic structures and revitalize downtown.

Businesses and nonprofits located within the EDP district were eligible for up to $5,000 to improve their building façades. Applications required a 1:1 match, up to 50% of the total project costs. Grants opened for 30 days on May 19, 2014, and were scored by an independent review committee on June 24, 2014. The EDP board of directors approved committee recommendations on July 16, 2014. Full grant guidelines can be found on the EDP website,

John Buchna, CEO of the Erie Downtown Partnership, said, “We work hard year round to influence our mission of maintaining a safe, clean and vibrant downtown community but I can’t think of another project we do that will so quickly have a direct impact on our mission. Within 60 days there will be a visible difference of the hard work that is coming out of downtown. We are grateful to our funders for making this project possible and supporting our mission.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) injected $50,000 into this grant program as it aligns with their mission to foster opportunities for businesses to grow, for communities to succeed and thrive in a global economy, and to improve the quality of life for Pennsylvania citizens.

Alison Schmidt, regional director of the PA DCED, said, “Projects such as this are a great example of public private partnerships and the benefits they have on the community. This project will allow the state and private businesses to work together to return tax dollars to the Erie downtown area and create a positive impact on the regional economy.”

The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) also invested $15,000 into this grant program as part of its 2014 Mission Main Street Grants program. Established to develop Erie County’s commercial corridors, Mission Main Street Grants serve to buttress those distinct geographic districts, known as “main streets,” that incubate and host small businesses, special events, historic structures, and central parks.

ECGRA Executive Director Perry Wood said, “We look to the heart of a community—literally to the core at a downtown or main street—to gauge its health and vitality. We’re proud to partner with the EDP on this grant program as they thoughtfully invest funds that will drive job creation, boost tourism, and improve our overall economy.”

A second window for applications will open on August 4th for full grant guidelines and applications please visit If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact Christina Katen at or 814-455-3743.


Erie Art Museum Four Separate Façades:$5,000;  $5,000;  $3,960;  $5,000
YMCA of Greater Erie: Downtown Branch $5,000
Glass Growers Gallery $1,560
ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum $5,000
La Rue Dix $5,000
HANDS $5,000
Heritage Wine Cellars $600


The Erie Downtown Partnership Board of Directors and staff are looking forward to working with these businesses to complete successful projects!