Bristol Borough small businesses will benefit from a new county program using federal dollars designated for infrastructure renovations. County Commissioner Rob Loughery gave a “sneak preview” of the pilot program and this week’s Council meeting.
Officially called the Bristol Small Business Infrastructure Improvement Pilot Program, the idea is much simpler; help businesses pay for upgrades to their storefronts.
“We know infrastructure is a big problem from the federal government down to the local government,” Loughery said. “But especially in a lot of our older towns and boroughs, like Bristol Borough, where some of those storm fronts have been there for a hundred years. And so have the water lines, sewers lines, and other things connecting those buildings.”
Bristol Borough reinvented itself thanks to a Small Business Revolution fueled by the dedication from its residents in 2017. Loughery explained this recent turn-around is a big part of why the county chose Bristol Borough for the pilot program.
“We know they’ve had some incredible initiatives for Mill Street and further downtown,” Loughery said. “We thought it fits the model of what we’re looking to try to help in terms of renovating and revitalizing old business districts.”
The grant will help small business owners as long as they match the expense to help with unforeseen utility costs. Window replacements, painting, IT, and related expenses necessary to run a business are all basic needs, but sometimes things can get complicated in other areas.
“When they put in new bathrooms and utility connections, that was an area we thought we could see a benefit of helping small businesses and small business property owners renovate and revitalize business districts in our small towns.”
If all goes well, Loughery noted there’s a good chance the program could expand to other small business districts in the future. More information will be revealed soon by the Bucks County Industrial Development Authority.