The Commercial Façade Program is a matching grant program designed to provide an incentive to commercial building owners to restore or rehabilitate the primary elevation of a building. Funds may also be used to repair or replace exterior building elements in order to preserve, protect and stabilize a building. In addition, businesses that occupy first-floor space may redesign their storefront to reflect historic architectural precedent, or current architectural design or business trends, as deemed appropriate for the building, block face and streetscape. Up to $5,000 in grant funding is available for these improvements, with a dollar-for-dollar match by the business or property owner.
For more information call 610-865-4347
The Bethlehem Small Business Loan Fund provides financing to eligible business in order to create jobs for people who earn up to 80% of Bethlehem’s median income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These loans are intended to be utilized as gap-financing in conjunction with other traditional funding options. Funds range from $25,000-100,000 and can be used for acquisition of property, construction, substantial renovations, and equipment purchases. Borrowers must create one full-time equivalent position for each $35,000 borrowed within one year of the loan, and submit quarterly financial statements and employment statistics.
The Small Business Loan is administered by the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund at CACLV.
Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance
LERTA is a tax abatement program that was created in 1977 to incentivize property investment and redevelopment of difficult and undesirable properties- such as brownfield sites. LERTA creates a graduated increase in tax payments on new construction and property rehabilitation for owners of commercial, industrial, residential, and business properties located within designated zones in the City. LERTA does require that property owners pay full land taxes, while taxes on improvements increase to the fully owed amount at an agreed upon rate over 10 years. The LERTA abatement applies to the tax increment from any substantial renovation or new construction, but does not make a property tax-free. Applications for LERTA must be submitted within 60 days of a building permit.
The city has two LERTA areas– the Southside LERTA and the Northside LERTA, each having their own tax abatement provisions.