Thank you for visiting the ECGRA newsroom! If you are a looking for an event image, check here. If you're looking for data about how ECGRA Grant Money Works in Erie County, check here or learn more in our annual report. If you are a member of the media and would like to discuss a story or can't find a news release, please contact Amanda P. Burlingham at 814-504-3037. If you have a general question, call 814-897-2690. 


Posted on April 5th, 2017 at 11:40 AM

The Erie Downtown Partnership and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority announce the availability of $15,000 in façade funding for 2017. Grant applications are available beginning today online at

ECGRA has generously granted the Erie Downtown Partnership another round of Mission Main Street Grants as part of the two agencies’ aligned mission to improve the economic vitality of the community.

Established by ECGRA to develop Erie County’s commercial corridors, Mission Main Street Grants serve to buttress those distinct geographic districts, known as “main streets,” that incubate and host small businesses, special events, historic structures, and central parks.

Perry Wood, Executive Director of ECGRA says, “These grants are sparking redevelopment in small business corridors across Erie County. They’re a perfect example of how gaming revenue is working for our region and tell the story of why Erie’s share must be made whole and remain under local control.”

ECGRA’s recently released economic impact study—the first of its kind—details how ECGRA’s investments of local share gaming revenue since March 2009 have bolstered the local economy and demonstrates the funding crater that will be left if Erie County is not made whole or does not maintain control of its share. 

Mission Main Street funding has been critical to the Erie Downtown Partnership’s façade improvement program over the years, and to date ECGRA has granted more than $80,000 to the Erie Downtown Partnership, most of which has been used for façade improvements in downtown Erie.

John Buchna, CEO of the Erie Downtown Partnership, says, “It is an honor for us to partner with ECGRA once again to improve the aesthetic of downtown Erie. Gaming funds have been used since 2013 by downtown businesses and property owners and are another important tool we have to leverage investment in downtown Erie.”

In 2016 the Erie Downtown Partnership awarded $15,000 in façade improvement grants to Alkeme at 18 North Park Row and Catfish Kitchen at 38 North Park Row.

The Erie Downtown Partnership notes that when façade improvement occur often other improvements are being made to improve the property. Alkeme did a total remodel inside of their restaurant and completed façade improvements including paint, new windows and doors as well as the install of a new awning. The property owners of Catfish Kitchen painted their entire façade and completed safety improvements to the front of their building.

Buchna added, “This is one of the programs we offer with a focus on making downtown safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable. We’re really looking to invest ECGRA’s gaming funds in transformational projects within the same block so the impact is bigger. We were pleased that we were able to fund two façade grants within the same block along North Park Row last year.”

Grantees can use funds for: architectural elements, such as windows and doors; exterior painting and restoration; signs and awnings; and professional design assistance. This grant program of the EDP is designed to support the growth of businesses, preserve historic structures and revitalize downtown.

This grant round, businesses and nonprofits located within the EDP district are eligible for up to $5,000 to improve their building façades. Applications require a 1:1 match, up to 50% of the total project costs, and must be submitted by June 1, 2017. Grant applicants will be scored by an independent review committee, then approved by the EDP board of directors. The 2017 recipients will be announced in June.

Anyone with questions regarding the application process can contact Emily Fetcko at or 814-455-3743.

 #   #   #

The Erie Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Erie by improving its image, business climate, physical environment and design.

CONTACT: John Buchna at 814-455-3743 (office), 814-882-7345 (cell) or

An impact investor, ECGRA’s mission is to galvanize the nonprofit sector toward economic and community development and to elevate Erie County, Pa. Since February 2008, ECGRA has invested more than $44 million in Erie County thanks to the innovative leadership of members of the ECGRA Board of Directors and staff and Erie County Council. Read ECGRA’s economic impact study here: and learn how you can help #SaveGamingRevenue here:

CONTACT: Amanda Burlingham at 814-504-3037 or