Making a More Competitive Downtown Challenge Grant Application
Downtown Challenge grants are competitive. It is expected that the number of applicants will exceed the available funds. Therefore, priority for funding is made on the criterion below.
The Outdoor Seating Area in the application should ideally:
1. Be located in a Target Zone
Businesses that are located inside our current Downtown Target Zone will be more likely to be funded that applications from outside the target
zones. Please See Target Zones.
2. Shield customers from the sights and sounds of vehicle traffic and parked cars.
Physical barriers such a decorative kneewalls, fencing, vertical trelisses, plants etc. between the seating and moving traffic/parked cars is strongly
encouraged. Sitting right next to car bumpers, hot radiators and headlights is undesireable. Barriers that break the sightlines between seated customers and cars are especially encouraged.
3. Provide shade from the sun.
Umbrellas would be a minimum, but stronger applications could include potted trees, planting new canopy trees in sidewalk wells, trellises/arbors, or overhead canvas/awnings.
4. Make use of green buffers.
Potted trees, large plants or other features are encouraged to humanize the space.
5. Be attractive & beautiful, and expresses the business' aesthetic.
Applicants are encouraged to look at decorating their outdoor spaces with at least as much attention as indoors. Bringing the indoors to outdoors is encouraged.
6. Be a transformative improvement over the current outdoor seating.
Strong applications will include a robust improvement over existing spaces, rather than simply requesting support for the status quo. Increasing quality of the experience is important. Increasing the amount of outdoor seating, whether expanding on the sidewalk or repurposing parking spaces (i.e.; Parklets), is also encouraged where it makes sense to do so.
NOTE: Any use of public space will require approval of the City of Oswego.