Small Business Startup & Expansion or Facade Improvement Grant Applications FAQs
The application for business startup and expansion asks for a lot of information related to nonprofit organizations. Which questions are relevant to businesses?
If you are a small business applicant applying for the City’s small business startup or expansion grants, answer the following questions on Neighborly with the responses provided below:
- Program Overview Section
- I. Applicant must select Beneficiary
- Applicant must then select “Business Start Up / Expansion” from the Dropdown
- II. Only Mark Yes if your business is located in the QCT area on the Map.
- Note, if you are not located within the QCT, you will not be considered eligible.
- I. Applicant must select Beneficiary
- Question B.2 – Answer “N/A”
- Question B.12 – Answer “N/A”
- Question B.13 – Answer “N/A”
- Question C.2 – Answer “N/A”
- Question C.3 – Must Select small business start-up or Expansion funds
- Question D – Must answer yes to Beneficiary Grant Award
- Question D.3 – Fill out if your grant request requires a capital expenditure or equipment purchase as part of the Start Up or Expansion
- Question D.4 – Answer “N/A”
- Question D.5 – Answer “N/A”
- Question D.7 – Answer “N/A”
- Question E – Must answer “No”
- Question G.5 – Answer “N/A”
Required Documents – Please review the grant guideline document to confirm what documents are required with your grant submission. *Note, if you answer “Yes” to question F.1, you are required to complete Exhibit 3.
Do I have to be tax-exempt to be eligible to apply for the small business grants?
Am I required to provide a SAM.gov ID with my application?
No, this is not required. However, if you have one, it is ok to provide it.
Do I need to submit past due mortgage, rent, & utility bills for these small business grants?
No, that is not a requirement for submission.
If your business started prior to 2021, are you eligible for the expansion grant?
Yes, however, please note that eligible costs are only those that have been incurred after March 3, 2021, per the Treasury.
I am looking to expand into a catering business, into an empty storefront attached to my business. Do the previous grants need to be listed?
Yes. If you have received grants specific to your small business expansion or related costs and expenditures, that information must be disclosed Using Exhibit 3 in the required documents section
Would businesses opened in June 2022 be eligible?
Yes. Businesses opened or expanding after March 3, 2021, are eligible.
I am looking to open my business. Can I apply?
Yes, small business startups located in a QCT are eligible to apply.
Are there details on the Design Committee review process/design requirements for the facade grant?
The design committee review process is outlined in the façade grant guideline document. Please click here to reference that document for more information (PDF).
How does owner occupancy affect eligibility regarding the façade improvement grant?
Ownership of the business storefront does not impact eligibility, though the grant application requires the building owner’s contact information to confirm they are aware of any intended improvements to their owned property
Can you qualify for both the façade grant and the startup grant if you own the building you have the commercial business in?
Is an interior renovation of a space that my business is looking to expand into an eligible grant request?
What do I do if I am having trouble securing contractors or obtaining 3 bids?
Contact Erica Yurkovic & Chris Hughes at the City of Scranton. They may be able to assist.
Can start-up grants help with construction costs?
Yes, these grants are meant to assist with small business startup or expansion costs including eligible capital improvements and equipment purchases
I operate two businesses out of the same building. I would like to update the front of the building and the sidewalks. Would my business be eligible for the $20,000 along with the 25% match. I am in Pine Brook and own the building.
If both businesses are unique, operate out of two different storefronts, and meet the eligibility requirements, each business and storefront is eligible for the façade grant. Therefore, this applicant situation would be eligible for the $20,000 grant amount with a 25% match. Please review the updated QCT located on the City’s website to confirm if your business is located within a QCT area . As part of the application, you will have to provide 2 different FEIN numbers to confirm the businesses are separate and unique.
Is downtown Scranton on the QCT map?
Yes, the majority of downtown Scranton is in QCT.
If my small business operates out of my home/residence, can I qualify for the façade improvement?
No, only business storefronts are eligible for the façade grants. This City will be opening housing rehabilitation grant opportunities in the future for residents that qualify.
If my organization is a non-profit, would I still be eligible to submit?
Yes, if your non-profit operates within a QCT area in the City and has 50 or fewer employees, you would be considered eligible.
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