close
close
19 Jul, 2024
Youngstown to announce recipients of 0K in aid to help cover explosion costs
3 mins read

Youngstown to announce recipients of $200K in aid to help cover explosion costs

News

With construction and explosions underway, the city wants to focus its financial resources on businesses that rely on foot traffic. The business must also be incorporated by January 2023.

As plans to demolish the Realty Building continue, downtown businesses are struggling.

A partnership between the city of Youngstown and the Chamber of Commerce will provide $200,000 to businesses hardest hit by the outbreak.

Now the city is working to identify businesses that will benefit and is committed to improving communication with downtown stakeholders.

“The people in this room and at City Hall need to reach out to these people and these businesses,” said Councilman Mike Ray. “The city needs to have a communication plan. It won’t unify them, but we need to help bridge that gap.”

Downtown Youngstown restaurants, bars and other businesses are waiting to hear from the city if they will receive $200,000 in emergency relief funding, as places like Avalon Downtown and Bistro 1907 told 21 News they have no communication with the city.

“This is a Band-Aid, and we recognize that,” said Nikki Posterli, chief of staff for the city of Youngstown. “That’s why we’re talking to philanthropic partners to say, ‘Hey, is there anything you can do to help us?’”

With construction and explosions underway, the city wants to focus its financial resources on businesses that rely on foot traffic. The business must also be incorporated by January 2023.

“This is a temporary solution,” Councilman Julius Oliver explained. “As a business owner, this aid will go out in a day. It will make up for something that was in short supply a month or two ago. Once we have all the information, we can look at whether we need to go out more to help our businesses.”

Oliver also proposed creating an ad encouraging the general public to visit the area and visit the bars, restaurants and breweries.

Council members including Julius Oliver and Mike Ray want better communication between the city and downtown business owners.

“It’s pretty inconvenient to go out because I’m being bombarded,” Ray said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on to deal with it, but the news isn’t getting out. I just want it to be better communicated, and there has to be a way to do that.”

City officials said ways to improve communication with the downtown community include a Youngstown portal or text thread to keep businesses updated.

“Our downtown businesses and our residents are the top priority right now. The lack of information is making people more scared and frustrated about what the end result of their business will be,” Oliver added. “So the more the administration can communicate, the better. Communication needs to be better.”

City officials have pledged to meet with downtown business leaders soon and announce the city’s $200,000 recipient the week of July 14.

The city can also use the remaining ARP funds to help businesses stay afloat.