SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Helping business owners in Lackawanna County spruce up their storefronts. That’s the goal of a partnership between two community organizations using grant money to make a noticeable difference.

The PA Route 6 Alliance and Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area are leading the initiative.

It’s all about economic development and supporting small businesses in the county.

Small business owners, commercial property owners, and non-profit representatives gathered at the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Office in Scranton.

It’s where a public meeting was held to discuss the PA Route 6 Facade Program in Lackawanna County.

“The facade is the front of your building, it’s what your customers see when they first walk up. We want to help create a welcoming atmosphere for your business, which in turn creates civic pride for your community,” said Facade Coordinator for PA Route 6, Vanessa Billings-Seiler.

The program is made possible through a $103,000 Keystone Communities Grant.

Eligible applicants may apply for reimbursable funds up to $5,000 to make improvements to the front exteriors of their businesses.

“I’ve had so many phone calls, so many emails, so many people coming to the meetings. They are just ecstatic about this program so we’re very excited to bring it to Lackawanna County, I think it’s going to be very competitive,” said Billings-Seiler.

Projects can range from painting to lighting, or even signage. The commercial buildings can be located anywhere in the county.

“We own sprinter vans, so we do expedited delivery,” said Danielle Harrington, Owner of the Renegade Clean Outs LLC in Dunmore.

Harrington says every bit helps as a small business owner.

“I think grants are great. And a lot of people don’t know about them, and they don’t know what they could do and how they could help them, and it helps us,” said Harrington.

Around 20 businesses in Lackawanna County are expected to benefit from the grant program.

The deadline to apply is April 21 and projects will be awarded in May.