Business Improvement Grants and Loans


Most small businesses in Germantown are likely to be eligible to apply for the most common grants and programs that are offered by the City of Philadelphia through the Commerce Department. Keep in mind that the below listings are not the only grant, loan or business improvement programs available to businesses. For a more complete list of grant, loan and tax credit programs that are available from private entities, the City of Philadelphia, State of Pennsylvania and the Federal Government, please visit: Other Informaton. Don't forget to stay up to date on local codes, regulations and laws that affect your day to day business, with In The Know. 

Below is information about these most common grants and programs that each business in Germantown can apply for:

InStore Program

The InStore Program is a forgivable loan program that helps eligible retail, food, and creative for-profit and non-profit businesses purchase equipment and materials associated with establishing a new location or expanding at an existing one.

You may be eligible if you own a property occupied by a retail, food, or creative business and are planning to open a new location, make improvements to an existing location in order to expand services or business activities, and/or upgrade equipment.

Your project must be located on an eligible commercial corridor. (Eligible corridors are listed in the InStore Guidelines. - the GSSD is an eligible corridor)

The forgivable loan amount is $15,000 – $50,000 for a project. The forgivable loan does not require payments and is forgiven if the recipient meets program guidelines for five (5) years

For more information on the InStore Program and download the application below.

Storefront Improvement Program

This program reimburses owners of commercial buildings and businesses within designated commercial corridors who make storefront improvements. The program can reimburse up to 50% of the cost of eligible improvements to a maximum of $10,000 for a single commercial property, or up to $15,000 for a multiple-address or corner business property. Examples of eligible improvements include masonry/brick pointing, cornices, exterior painting, windows/glazing, exterior doors. exterior façade lighting, see-through security grills, signage and awnings.

Your project must be located on an eligible commercial corridor. (The GSSD is an eligible corridor).

For more information on the Storefront Improvement Program and download the application below.

Business Security Camera Program

The City encourages businesses to install external security cameras to increase safety in public areas for shoppers, employees and residents by reimbursing the cost of equipment and installation. Through the program, the Commerce Department awards applicants up to 50% of the total cost of eligible improvements with a maximum reimbursement of $3,000 per single commercial property. Business Associations or other organizations may apply for the award collectively for cameras to be placed on multiple properties within an area and receive 50% reimbursement for the project costs.

For more information on the Business Security Camera Program and download the application below.

Kiva Zip - Borrowers Program

Kiva Zip is a website that enables financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs to access 0% interest small business loans. These loans are crowdfunded by hundreds of lenders from around the world who read your story, lend you as little as $5 each, and rally around your business as potential customers, business advisers, and brand ambassadors. The Kiva program is administered by the City of Philadelphia's Commerce Department. For more information on becoming a Kiva Borrower, visit the Kiva website at:
•    Small size – First loans are $10,000 or less; subsequent loans can be larger
•    Short loan term – 24 months or less
•    0% interest
•    Administered via PayPal
•    Crowdfunded on Kiva Zip