Facade Improvement Grant Program 2024-2025

Providing limited matching funding for eligible commercial buildings located within the designated Main Street District (see map).

The purpose is to encourage building owners to improve the appearance and visual character of their building’s façade that will enhance and contribute to the aesthetics of downtown Oil City. The goal is to improve the downtown’s overall appearance and ultimately attract new businesses and customers to our downtown area.

Facade Program Overview

Façade improvements do not need to be costly. Often a fresh coat of paint, a new sign, or repairing or replacing an awning will make a great impact on the appearance of your business and the downtown area as well!

This is a reimbursable, 50/50 matching grant program. The applicant must match the grant funds by at least 50%. Funds will be dispersed after the pre-approved project is complete and the applicant has submitted appropriate proof of payment in full.

Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis and are subject to the maximum program limits, available funds, and project merit. The maximum amount awarded per project is $5,000.00 (see limits per project description).

All projects must be pre-approved: any work performed, materials purchased or contracts signed prior to completed Grant Approval & Agreement will NOT be eligible for funding.

NOTE: Large-scale projects costing $25,000.00 or over are subject to the Prevailing Wage Act.

Grant Eligibility

  • The building must be located within the designated Oil City Main Street area and without significant structural/code violation issues.
  • The applicant may be either the building owner or the business owner (with written consent from the building owner).
  • The building owner must provide proof that all city, school district, and county taxes are current.

Eligible Improvements

  • Awnings & Canopies
  • Signage
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Exterior Cleaning/Painting (OCMS color palettes are encouraged)
  • Exterior Restoration and/or Architectural Elements (masonry, woodwork, metals)
  • Lighting (exterior)
  • Design Assistance

Total maximum grand awarded $5,000

See Facade Improvement Grant Program brochure for more details and exclusions.



• Request a copy of the Grant Program Guidelines and Application: call the Main Street Manager at (814) 677-3152, ext. 101.
• We encourage you to discuss your ideas with the Design Committee in advance… meetings are on the 1st Wednesday of the month or by appointment.
• Contact Oil City Code Administration at 678-3003 for a copy of your most recent Commercial Fire Prevention Inspection (within 24 months).
• Contact Code and Zoning offices to discuss any necessary permits.
• Submit your completed application with all bids and required documentation attached before the end of any given month.
• Your project will be reviewed at the next scheduled Design Committee meeting: if approved, it is presented to Oil City Council for final approval.
• Once fully approved, you will receive a notice of Grant Approval & Agreement from the Main Street Manager (which you must sign & return within 15 days).     DO NOT PROCEED until this letter is signed by both parties.
• Your façade project must be completed within 120 days of approval (or request an extension).
• Submit proof of completion/inspection and proof that you have paid for the project in full to the Main Street Manager.
• The Main Street Manager will process your project for reimbursement from DCED. Please allow approx. 90 days for reimbursement.
• Your project may be featured in the overall publicity of the Façade Improvement Grant Program via “in-progress” signage, before & after photos, media announcements, etc.: we appreciate your cooperation during this process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: What is a façade?
A: The façade is the part of the building facing the street and includes the entire face of the building from the ground up, and includes upper story windows and cornice.
Q: What is a storefront?
A: The storefront has its own unique entrance, interior space, and display window.
Q: What if my building is on a corner?
A: Both facades are eligible for façade grants, but must not exceed the total allowable amounts.
Q: Can I use a grant for improvements to my building’s rear façade?
A: The project may include the front façade or any side or rear façade which is accessible or visible from a public right-of-way or parking lot. The committee may consider requests for other facades which are visually significant.
Q: Can I receive more than one grant?
A: You may apply for multiple projects. OCMS reserves the right to limit funding in order to encourage other interested owners to apply.
Q: When will I receive the money?
A: No funds will be processed for payment until all pre-approval steps have been taken, the work is completed and inspected, you have paid for it in full and completed all requirements. After you have submitted proof of such, reimbursement then takes approx. 90 days.

Map of the Oil City Main Street Area

A building must be located within one of the shaded areas above to be eligible for a Main Street Façade Improvement Grant.

The Façade Improvement Grant Program is funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED). All grants are contingent upon the availability of state funding.

Contact: Stevette Rosen Main Street Manager
217 Elm Street • Oil City, PA 16301
Phone (814) 677-3152, ext 101
Fax (814) 677-5206