As the South Side Local Development Company makes plans to go out of business in the next several years, it's still business as usual until then according to Aaron Sukenik, manager of business development.
While the SSLDC figures out how to proceed in the future, Mr. Sukenik explains they are still operating or facilitating a number of programs benefitting South Side businesses. As an example, he said they were able to get 10 more city standard trash cans that will soon take their places along East Carson Street.
Among the things Mr. Sukenik can help businesses with is a new sidewalk program being offered through United American Savings Bank. The bank is offering low interest loans to East Carson Street property owners for new sidewalks of up to $2,500 over a five year period.
Those interested in more information on the sidewalk loan program can either call United American Savings Bank or Mr. Sukenik at the SSLDC.
He said the new sidewalk program ties in nicely with programs that provide free street trees to those who want them in South Side. Although not administered by the SSLDC the organization supports the work of the South Side Tree Project, Tree Vitalize, Friends of the Urban Forest and the city forester.
Mr. Sukenik pointed out in addition to helping get more trees in the neighborhood, a free street tree, when added to a new sidewalk project can reduce the price of the sidewalk by as much as 25 percent, depending on the size of the original sidewalk.
The SSLDC can also facilitate having bike racks placed in front of businesses and a limited number of cigarette butt receptacles are available on a first come first served basis.
Although not administered by the local development company, they are able to help businesses interested in Urban Redevelopment Authority streetface programs by acting as a go-between. The SSLDC can also offer assistance with endorsements needed for the programs.
Mr. Sukenik said there are currently two streetface programs businesses can utilize in South Side: The Mayor's Storefront Renovation Program and the Streetface Renovation Grant.
The Mayor's Storefront Renovation Program offers grants of up to $5,000 while the Streetface Renovation Grant is for projects that require extensive exterior renovations to the standards of a National Historical District and offers up to a $20,000 grant. Both programs require a match of 50 percent by the property owner.
For more information on any of the business programs offered by the SSLDC, contact Mr. Sukenik at 412-481-0651 x15.