With Latest Round, In Total More Than 60 Albany Businesses and Nonprofits Have Received Small Business Facade Improvement Program Matching Grant Awards To Reinvest And Grow

May 3, 2024

Program Has Leveraged More than $650,000 In Private Investment

As part of the City of Albany’s Small Business Façade Improvement Program’s sixth-round which closed in December, 15 Albany small businesses and nonprofits received matching grant awards totaling more than $130,000 this month. Already, since its inaugural round the program has supported more than 50 businesses’ completed projects located throughout 16 unique neighborhoods and commercial districts citywide.

Awarded projects in Round 6 include a variety of exterior renovations ranging from installations of new awnings, signage and lighting to accessibility improvements and historical restorations. The team at Capitalize Albany looks forward to celebrating the impact of these reinvestments with the businesses located throughout the city.

Previous rounds of the Small Business Façade Improvement Program have been tremendously successful. With small business owners’ reinvestment into their properties, since 2018, more than $300,000 in program funding has been disbursed leveraging more than $650,000 in private investment, more than twice the amount of grant resources — $2.11 for every $1 of program support.

Photo of Lincoln Pharmacy Facade

Lincoln Pharmacy – Small Business Facade Improvement Program completed project.


The program prioritizes supporting disadvantaged business enterprises. This round of Façade is awarding more than $40,000 of grant funds to minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.

Beyond its recent pandemic-recovery programs including the now closed Building Improvement Grant Program, since 2016 Capitalize Albany has designed and administered several grant programs including the Small Business Façade Improvement Program; the Downtown Albany Retail, Amplify Albany, and Neighborhood Retail grant programs. Across its programs the Corporation has made grant awards totaling more than $2.2 million to assist small businesses and organizations throughout the City of Albany. More than 90 percent of this funding has been awarded within Albany Community Development Agency’s Neighborhood Strategy Areas (NSAs) and Qualified Census Tracts. These programs have leveraged more than $3.3 million in new, private investment throughout the Capital City.

Photo of mural outside of The Yard

The Yard | Hatchet House & Bar – Small Business Facade Improvement Program completed project.


The Facade Program is not only designed to support and provide critical assistance to small businesses citywide — the program encourages new investment in City of Albany identified NSAs and the creation of low barrier to entry level jobs for City of Albany and Capital Region residents. In an effort to increase employment opportunities for local residents the City of Albany’s office of Youth & Workforce Services has been available to work with awarded applicants on identifying localized talent for their expanding small businesses.

The Façade Program’s sixth-round opened November 9 and closed on December 21. A Round 7 funding window is anticipated to open later this year. All information will be made available at www.CapitalizeAlbany.com/grants.

Details regarding eligible applicants and improvements can be found in the Program Guidelines. An overview of improvements or renovations eligible to receive support include decorative or functional enhancements such as exterior signs, lighting, energy conservation, windows, awnings, storefronts and entrances, doors, brickwork, painting, repair to decorative details, cornices, correction of code violations, removal of non-historic materials, and upgrades of blighted buildings. Grants can also support renovations to improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Improvements to interiors, parking lots, or sidewalks are not eligible improvements.

Photo Banh Mi 47 Completed Project Facade

Banh Mi 47 – Small Business Facade Improvement Program completed project.


The City of Albany Small Business Façade Improvement Program is made possible by the City of Albany Capital Resource Corporation and the Albany Community Development Agency and is administered by Capitalize Albany Corporation.