Better Blocks for Business (B3) is a grant program offered by the City of Lima in partnership with the Lima Community Improvement Corporation. The B3 program is designed to assist Lima neighborhood businesses along commercial corridors that are located in historically distressed and underserved neighborhoods.
Projects are selected based on their ability to significantly impact efforts to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods. This will be measured through the project's ability to: create jobs, reduce blight, increase neighborhood retail opportunities, and preserve/improve structures in our community to enhance the city's vitality.
Applicants must be property owners and/or business tenants operating in commercial building units located on main thoroughfares within eligible areas in the City of Lima (excluding downtown). The amount of funding depends on the cost to implement the exterior commercial façade improvements, but will not exceed $15,000 per business site.
Eligible expenses include: building façade materials, windows and doors, gutters and downspouts, stairs, ramps, exterior lighting, exterior painting, signage upgrades, awning installation, and other exterior improvements.
On November 13th, 2023, the Lima Community Improvement and the City of Lima announced the first recipient of the Better Blocks for Business grant: Bob’s Laundry and Dry Cleaners.
This grant not only benefits the Owners of Bob's Laundry & Dry Cleaners, Michael and Suzanne Rachlin, but it also benefits the local businesses contracted to provide the façade improvements, including Showcase Chimney & Brick Home Repair and subcontractor Kings Power Washing.
“It’s a great thing for the city and other small businesses. This helps our people and others in the community like the local businesses that are doing the construction work to make the neighborhood look nice,” states Suzanne Rachlin, co-owner of Bob's Laundry & Dry Cleaners.
“As a Lima business, I am excited to be part of a program that serves similar businesses. It strengthens our sense of community, and puts money back in our city,” shared Luther Benton, owner of Showcase Chimney & Brick Home Repair.
"Neighborhood businesses are the backbone of our community, providing not only essential goods and services but also a sense of belonging and connection. They create a vibrant and diverse local economy, supporting job opportunities and fostering entrepreneurship,” states Lima’s Mayor Sharetta Smith.
Mayor Smith went on to say, “This program also provides an opportunity to support and enhance retail in our city along commercial corridors. By shopping and dining locally, we not only support our neighbors' livelihoods but also contribute to the unique character and charm of our neighborhood. Let us remember that these businesses are not just buildings, but the heartbeat of our community, and their success is vital to our collective well-being."