FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2022
Oakland, CA – Applications are now open for the City of Oakland’s Façade and Tenant Improvement Program (FTIP), which is relaunching after key changes to remove barriers and facilitate equitable access to funding for small businesses and property owners. Applications are available at www.oaklandca.gov/ftip.
The City of Oakland’s Facade and Tenant Improvement Program provides up to $75,000 in grants to small business owners and property owners to improve the exterior and interior of their commercial properties. Grants are available for up to $30,000 for exterior work, and up to $45,000 for interior work to improve their commercial ground floor spaces.
In June, the Oakland City Council authorized several changes to the FTIP, which go into effect with the relaunch of the program application, including:
Grants can be used to help make needed upgrades for safety, security, compliance with Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and the overall success of the business. Examples of eligible projects include painting, signage, lighting, flooring, and parklets for outdoor dining.
Oakland business and property owners can apply to the first round of the revised FTIP through January 31, 2023 at www.oaklandca.gov/ftip. Emergency response grants for window repair will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. All other applications received will be prioritized based on new equity scoring criteria, with a focus on priority underinvested commercial corridors. Applications received will be prioritized based on an equity-scoring criteria that prioritizes investment in underserved neighborhoods, longstanding businesses serving the community, and support of business and property owners who live in the community.
The FTIP has supported hundreds of Oakland business and property owners since 1997. Mohsin Sharif, owner of the Oasis Food Market at 3045 Telegraph Ave, received funding for both exterior and interior work in 2008. “The façade grant had a huge impact on our success, without question”, he said. “If it wasn’t for that grant, we would have struggled to beautify our area.”
Sweetfingers, a Jamaican restaurant located at 5859 Foothill Boulevard, received a grant for interior improvements in 2021, which helped them build out their space from an empty shell into a restaurant with a full kitchen. “We are grateful to the City for making this grant program available,” said co-owner Roxanne Mosley. “When you’re doing business and you’re opening up a new business, any support that can help that happen, you should get…I would advise you if you can get free funds, take it!”
The City is working to promote the FTIP in partnership with its network of business service organization partners, including ethnic chambers of commerce and Business Improvement Districts. In addition, staff is collaborating with individual Council offices to hold workshops in their districts. More detail about these workshops will be available at www.oaklandca.gov/ftip.
The FTIP will be promoted at all seven locations of the Neighborhood Business Assistance program, with program flyers in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Flyers will also be distributed by City staff members that visit business owners throughout the City, including those businesses impacted by vandalism.
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