Waynesboro businesses look to benefit from $50,000 in new façade improvement dollars

10 June 2024- Gov. Josh Shapiro has announced nearly $7 million through the Keystone Communities Program (KCP) to support 49 community improvement projects in 25 counties, including Mainstreet Waynesboro.

Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger officially announced the grant awards during a stop in Bedford County in late May.

Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc. was awarded a $50,000 facade grant. It was one of two grants awarded in the Central Region of DCED and the only grant in this cycle awarded to a Franklin County agency.

“We are ecstatic and humbled to be awarded a grant to help property owners and businesses improve their facades,” said Bill Kohler, Director of Economic Development for Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc.

“This grant creates a public-private partnership that improves our downtown district one façade, one new sign and one painted door at a time,” Kohler said.

How it works: Businesses or property owners with a commercial storefront on Main Street can apply for grants up to $5,000. It’s a matching grant, meaning the property or business owner pays for the approved work up front and the state reimburses 50% of the cost up to $5,000.

Applications are available at the Mainstreet Waynesboro office in M&T Bank at 13 W. Main St.

Application fees are $50 for projects $499 and below, and $100 for those $500 or more.

This will be the third round of façade grants administered by Mainstreet Waynesboro in the last 10 years.

In the last round, more than $146,000 was spent on projects sparked by the façade grant program.

“You don’t have to look far to see the tangible results of this grant: TranquilaTEA Tea Room & Gifts, Rough Edges Brewing, The Crispy Biscuit, Foreman’s Rare Coins. All of those buildings and businesses were able to benefit from a façade grant between 2019 and 2022,” Kohler added.

In his 2024-25 budget, Governor Shapiro proposed a $25 million investment to create the new Main Street Matters program – which builds upon and modernizes the existing successes of the KCP to support the downtowns, main streets, and commercial corridors that are the backbone of Pennsylvania’s communities.

Updated façade outside the Rough Edges Brewery on Main Street in Waynesboro

In the current award cycle, DCED received 117 applications for the Keystone Communities program requesting more than $24 million in funding – demonstrating the need for more state investments in the growth and stability of neighborhoods, main streets and downtown districts so that Pennsylvania’s communities and their residents can thrive.

This KCP funding supports Pennsylvania Main Streets all across the Commonwealth, helping communities pay for new sidewalks and improved streetlights, small businesses renovate their facades, and developers build more affordable housing.

Run by DCED, the KCP encourages the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors that support the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities; social and economic diversity; and a strong and secure quality of life.

Local governments, redevelopment and housing authorities, nonprofit organizations, community development corporations, and business, neighborhood, and downtown improvement districts are all eligible to apply for KCP grant funding.