The North 5th Street Small Business Corridor in the Olney area of Philadelphia has received $ 150,000 in federal funding, which officials hope will help local retailers thrive in challenging climates.
The money comes from funding for federal community projects designed to prevent crime, improve the street landscape and increase economic activity while building ties between residents and traders. Olney is a diverse area, and officials say more languages are spoken in the area than in any other state zip code.
U.S. Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-2), who provided funding for the district, on Tuesday handed the business district a check. He said he hoped it would help strengthen what has long been home to people looking for their own piece of the American dream.
“Funding for community projects this year is something completely new. It is a federal initiative that allows members of Congress to request and direct funding to projects that benefit the counties they represent, ”Boyle said. “CPF separate from federal grants and funding distributed under these formulas.”
Boyle grew up in the area, and his mother was a school gatekeeper who worked along the business corridor. He said he finds the area special.
“Fifth Street is truly America’s main street, and many different immigrants and different groups have come here over the years and called it home, be it German immigrants, Irish immigrants through modern Koreans, Hispanics, Hispanics and African Americans,” he said. Boyle.
Stephanie Michelle, executive director of the Northwest 5th Street Revitalization Project, told the audience that the area is a “hidden gem” in the city, and material investment will make the area the best for everyone.
She called the area “neglected and underserved” and expressed hope that federal funding would “begin to change that narrative.”
Calvin Lee owns a jewelry store on 5th Street. His family has worked to support his business for 35 years.
“It’s not just a struggle, the pandemic has had a huge impact on the environment, but we are recognized, we are seen and we get the help we need to try to make the community better,” Lee said.
Boyle said he believes the competitive process to win federal grant money is a sign that the area has a lot to offer its community.
This article first appeared on WYY.org.