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Grants to Erie County, Pennsylvania Nonprofits and
Municipalities to Improve Historic Downtown Areas

Mission Main Street Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA)

Deadline Date:



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Grants to Erie County, Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations and municipalities for the revitalization of historic downtown commercial corridors. Funding is intended to support projects for facade restoration, streetscape improvement, and revamped landscaping, ultimately expected to promote tourism and job creation.

The purpose of the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority's Mission Main Street Grant Program is to create a targeted impact on Erie County’s municipalities through commercial corridors that are known as “main streets.” Following the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s four-point main street approach, this grant recognizes that each municipality in Erie County is distinct geographically with main streets that host small business, special events, historic structures, and central parks. Many have fallen into disrepair because of the diaspora of retail from central business districts to malls. In communities in which main streets and historic structures are maintained, there is a sense of vibrancy and civic pride. Revitalizing Erie County main streets is an economic and community development strategy that creates jobs, promotes tourism, and impacts the region’s economy.

Mission Main Street Grant goals:

- Redevelop streetscapes and buildings
-Remove blight and reverse deterioration
- Promote a positive small business environment
- Incentivize and spur private investment
- Make communities more walkable, safe, and attractive
- Experiment with creative programming & civic engagement
- Improve the municipal tax base

The Grant Program consists of two funding paths, Planning Grants and Implementation Grants, outlined as follows:

- MMS Planning Grant: In the course of re-making or improving Main Streets, ECGRA understands there is a need to perform studies and analyses before public investment is made in areas such as streetscapes, bicycle and pedestrian safety, transportation, parking management, new construction, housing, retail, parks, and façade renovations. Additionally, pre-construction costs such as engineering and design are essential to completing construction projects ranging from streetscapes to park and accessibility improvements. ECGRA Mission Main Street Planning Grant funds can be used for relevant studies, planning, design, and/or engineering services.

Any ECGRA-funded planning, studies, or analyses must incorporate public involvement throughout and ensure adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Plans shall also adhere to the basic goals of the Mission Main Street Program which are to enhance economic and business vitality while maintaining local historic integrity, quality of life, and sense of place.

- MMS Implementation Grant: The Mission Main Street program encourages municipal and main street organizations to adopt and follow the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street goals which are Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring.

ECGRA's Mission Main Street Grant Program provides valuable funding for improvements to urban and rural main streets to support local businesses and economies. Projects relating to each of the four goals are eligible for Mission Main Street funding. Examples of past funded Mission Main Street projects include: Marketing and promotions, Buy Local campaigns, website and social media development, storefront improvement programs, façade improvements, streetscaping, tree planting, park improvements along main streets, gateway treatments, farmers markets, history tours, banners, bicycle parking, development of design guidelines, special events, and program staff time.

Eligible Improvements include:

- Streetscapes, sidewalks, walkways
- Parks, landscaping, trees, greenways
- Facades, roofs, windows
- Signs, awnings, banners
- Building/structural improvements
- Accessibility, elevators
- Branding, Marketing
- Buy Local related campaign
- Utilities, Telecommunications
- Programming, events

Funding may be used for the following:

- Paid Staff (full-time and temporary)
- Marketing/Outreach/Engagement
- Programming Related
- Insurance
- Equipment & Supplies
- Contracted Services – Studies, plans, construction drawings, and other similar professional
services are limited to Planning Grants. Examples of eligible contracted services are board
development consultants, advertising agencies, event security, landscaping company, tent
providers, musicians, etc.
- Construction – see policy on prevailing wage
- Outcomes Measurement & Impact Tracking

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144312

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $10,000 awarded per Planning Grant; up to $250,000 per Implementation Grant. Mission Main
Street funding cannot exceed a total of $250,000 per entity over a three-year period.

Term of Contract:

- Grant contracts for MMS Planning shall be for a period of one year.
- Grant contracts for MMS Implementation shall be for up to three years.

One option to extend the terms of the contract for a period of six months on planning grants and one year for implementation grants may be permitted by ECGRA.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Project sponsors can be 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations, local governments, or municipal authorities.

The applicant or sponsoring organization’s main office or headquarters must be located in the boundaries of Erie County, Pennsylvania. The town, commercial corridor, or main street must be within the boundaries of Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Preference will be given to entities with experience managing and delivering similar programs.

Ineligible Organizations:

The organization will be deemed ineligible for funding if it is an institution that predominantly provides elementary or secondary education or other training; a state or federal park; an airport or public transportation facility; a for-profit; any municipality or organization that was part of the settlement agreement entered into December 13, 2010 with ECGRA; a health care or long-term care facility; a public safety organization.

Funding cannot be used for the following:

- Debt service
- Travel and attendance at conferences
- Memberships or subscriptions
- Any other cost that ECGRA deems to be ineligible

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Schedule:
Open: August 16, 2018
Close: November 16, 2018
Awarded: December 13, 2018

Application for ECGRA grants shall be completed online. ECGRA will notify all applicants via email.

A 1:1 cash match is required for all applicants.

Program inquiries should be directed to Tom Maggio, ECGRA Grants Manager.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For the online application portal:

Tom Maggio, ECGRA Grants Manager
(814) 897-2694

Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority
5340 Fryling Road, Suite 201
Erie, PA 16510

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Erie County

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