Mayor Barlow Announces $525,000 Downtown Improvement Fund for Downtown Businesses

“We are in a state of progress, resurgence and revival,” the mayor said.

“We are in a state of progress, resurgence and revival,” the mayor said.

OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced today (May 8) the launch of the Oswego Downtown Improvement Fund, one of 12 projects from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative the city of Oswego captured in July of 2016.

The Oswego Downtown Improvement Fund makes $525,000 available in grant funding to downtown Oswego businesses for improvements, renovations and expansions ranging from small $3,000 grants for new signage and outdoor programming opportunities to approximately $60,000 grants for large scale renovations and expansions.

“The Downtown Improvement Fund provides our small downtown businesses the opportunity to improve their storefront and participate in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. After winning the DRI, we were committed to using a portion of the $10 million funding to help our downtown existing small businesses. On a regular basis, I am approached by business owners looking for grant funding to improve their business. Finally having grant money available to offer to those business owners is very exciting and will certainly add to our comprehensive downtown revitalization plan,” Barlow said. “This rare opportunity to have accessible grant funding to our small business community can have an enormous impact on the appearance and vitality of our downtown. I strongly encourage downtown business owners to apply for this funding and I look forwarded to working with them on enhancing downtown Oswego.”

The $525,000 Downtown Improvement Fund aims to fund 10 façade improvement projects, approximately five new building sign improvement projects and four residential or commercial expansion projects.

Eligible businesses must be located in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative boundary and may apply for multiple grants.

Mayor Barlow also announced he will be hosting two public informational sessions on May 22 to discuss the application process, eligible activities, scoring criteria and other important information to ensure all business owners are aware of the available grant funding.

“I want every business owner in our downtown to be aware of this opportunity as we work to make the most of this funding. These improvement projects have the capability to dramatically change our downtown and I look forward to assisting our small business community as these plans and projects develop,” Barlow said.

The two public informational sessions will be held on May 22 from 5 to 6 p.m. and a second session from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Oswego Canal Commons Conference Room at 197 W. First St.

Preapplications will be made available at the informational session and general applications will be made available on June 1 at the Oswego Economic Development Office located at 44 E. Bridge St.


  1. Hey mayor Barlow we seniors need help with our taxes, the wife and i are loseing our house because of all the high taxes and water bills, i am 65 on S,S, a army vet the wife has cancer and on cemo and can not work where is our grant to just to get by on we need help

  2. Mr. Bartlett, I feel you pain sir. Don’t expect any help unless you have the last-name of a handful of people around here. Why bother making the downtown more attractive when the majority of people living here can’t afford to even get there to spend their money? That has to go on high-taxes, outrageous water/sewer fees, out-of-control school board, and food to live on….which is scarce at best with everything else they want to bleed us taxpayers for. I suspect a one-term mayor from all of this but we’ll see I guess. Ignoring the real wallet-destroying issues around here won’t bode well for him when the time comes. There’s lots more voters around here than just the “popular” named ones…but we’re looking to leave in droves(myself included) so he may just get in again; it won’t be because I helped him!

  3. More $ for downtown….really!? They’ve been throwing money at downtown for 40 years. How ’bout spreading it around for a change.

  4. Can we get the roads fixed first? that would be great. Also, can you do something about our extremely high taxes and sewer/water fees?

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