SoBRO, Whedco awarded revitalization grants

Whedco has said it will use the grant to bring new businesses to Southern Boulevard and Melrose. SoBRO says it will partner with businesses to shore up retailers’ facades on 139th St. and Third Avenue.

Two respected South Bronx economic development organizations have been awarded city grants to help boost local business prospects.

SoBRO (the South Bronx Overall Development Corporation) and Whedco (the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation) were among a half dozen groups chosen to share the $250,000 funding pool to help revitalize commercial commercial areas in low to moderate-income neighborhoods across the borough.

The city’s Department of Small Business Services announced the winners of the 2015 Avenue NYC grants in June.

The grants provide for training in financial management, program evaluation, fundraising and strategic planning. Last fiscal year, organizations that received the grants “attracted 53 new businesses to their corridors, recruited 355 new merchants to new and existing merchants associations, and improved 12 storefront facades,” according to the city agency’s press release.

Funding through the program is available for the following five project categories: Business Attraction, Façade Improvement, Merchant Organizing, Capacity Building Initiatives, and Placemaking.

Whedco says it will use the funds to attract new businesses to Southern Boulevard and Melrose. SoBRO’s says it will organize merchants along Bruckner Boulevard and partner with businesses to improve facades on 139th St. and Third Avenue.

Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development, said the grant shows the administration’s commitment to “building strong neighborhoods and commercial corridors across the five boroughs to help support local businesses and create good jobs.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said the grants “will help several of our borough’s most significant business corridors develop new programming, enabling them to attract new customers and grow their businesses.

The other four Bronx-based groups selected to share the grant money include the Belmont Business Improvement District, the Mosholu Preservation Corporation, the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce and the Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation.