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URA announces 2020 Biz Buzz grants


Last updated 11/17/2020 at 8:41am

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) announced seven projects spanning nine neighborhood business districts have been awarded 2020 Biz Buzz grants for a total of $27,000.

The Biz Buzz program was created in 2013 to offer small grants designed to help business district groups implement unique events and activities, with the goal of creating a “buzz” about their commercial corridors. To date including the 2020 round, 35 grants have been awarded in 22 neighborhood business districts, for a total of $250,000. 

“COVID-19 has caused unprecedented shock and stress on our small and local business community. As we are entering the once-profitable holiday season, we must find creative and safe ways to drive business to our business districts. The Biz Buzz grants allow us to provide funding and support for neighborhoods and business districts who are doing just that - developing community-driven ways to draw people to their businesses for the holidays. I’d like to thank the URA for continuing this important program during a critical time for our city and encourage all residents to support our local businesses this year,” Mayor William Peduto said.

The 2020 Biz Buzz program encourages business district groups to develop unique promotional and marketing programs that focus on helping their businesses survive and thrive during this COVID-19-impacted holiday season. This year’s grant amount, per award, is $3,000.

The 2020 projects include:

• A promotion that asks customers to vote for their favorite Beechview business when they purchase the locally designed Beechview T-Shirt. All participating businesses will receive a cash prize; the three businesses with the most votes will receive a larger prize.

“Small Business Saturday will have a different look this year for the businesses on Broadway and Beechview Avenues,” said Cindy Gormley, working with the Beechview Revitalization Advisory Group (BRAG).

• A collaboration between the Bloomfield Development Corporation, the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, and the Lawrenceville Corporation to develop and sell holiday gift box subscriptions that focus on businesses in the Penn-Main district.

“Our collaboration centers on the Penn/Main area that touches our three neighborhoods, taking the popular subscription box trend and reimagining it to be all local,” said Christina Howell, executive director of the Bloomfield Development Corporation. “With this support from the URA, we’re able to put products from small businesses in that area into the hands of people who might never have walked into their store, helping those businesses get through the most challenging time in their history.”

The other projects awarded grants:

• The Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation is organizing a Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest for businesses throughout the neighborhood.

• The South Side Chamber of Commerce is hosting a holiday window decorating contest in the East Carson Street corridor.

• The East Liberty Chamber of Commerce is organizing a virtual event platform for East Liberty businesses to promote their goods and services.

• The Northside Leadership Conference is hosting an outdoor holiday market on East Ohio Street.

• Several districts, including the South Side and Shadyside, are organizing Small Business Saturday promotions. 


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