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Community Development Agency enticing business development with grant for only South Cape Coral

grant program
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-06 19:08:20-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — On Tuesday, the City of Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) said funding was now available for its Breaking Barriers to Business (B2B) Grant Program.

The city said the program aims to provide incentive grants to assist with site development costs of new non-residential construction, building/facility expansions, or renovations.

Bob Lanzieri, owner of John Michaels Diamon & Jewelry Studio on Cape Coral Parkway spoke with Fox 4 about the newly launched program.

“I support anything that will enhance walk-in traffic,” said Lanzieri.

Other Cape Coral Parkway business owners like Ralph Sangiovanni said the city’s new B2B grant could help create more long-term businesses in south cape.

“We have always been seeing a lot of business come in and then shortly after they end up leaving,” said Sangiovanni.

The agency said $250,000 is available and will cover up to 20% of costs for expenses like site development, construction, and renovations.

Qualified businesses must be located inside the CRA's roughly 3 square mile district seen below.

Courtesy: City of Cape Coral Facebook

Sangiovanni, who owns Razzle Dazzle Boutique said the grant will help south cape turn into what the city has already branded as 'the heart of Cape Coral'.

“I think that it’s a great idea and honestly promoting the downtown area I mean after all this was cape coral, the downtown was it,” said Sangiovanni.

A spokesperson with the City of Cape Coral told Fox 4 that if they see success with the B2B grant program the city could eventually roll it out city-wide.

The CRA said businesses will need to make a minimum investment of $25,000 to qualify.

Lanzieri said the program could boost foot traffic–but questions if South Cape’s limited parking lots can handle a rise in visitors.

“You can do all the stuff and you can bring all the new traffic down, what are you gonna do with the people, what are you going to do with the cars?” asked Lanzieri.

The CRA said it will prioritize proposals that include plans for off-site parking for their business.

The agency said this type of priority consideration underscores the City's commitment to sustainable development practices and supports businesses that prioritize the needs of their customers and the community as a whole.

Lanzieri said added infrastructure will need to come with the addition of new businesses but he hopes most of the grant money will go to improving businesses that already call the south cape home.

“Maybe this will help the face-lift of the shopping center. including ours. it needs a face-lift. So maybe that will help,” said Lanzieri.

Click here to apply for the grant.