ITHACA, N.Y. — The Downtown Ithaca Alliance has announced a new micro-grant program to provide Downtown Ithaca businesses with funding to help organize and host shared cooperative promotional events.

the Collaborative Retail Experience Grant (C.R.E.G) is specifically geared towards empowering downtown’s ground-level businesses in crafting new activities and doing so with the cooperation of other downtown merchants, local artists, and non-profit organizations, according to the DIA.

“I believe that the urban core should be a vibrant place and one way to accomplish this is for downtown businesses to host community-focused promotions and events,” says DIA Business Outreach Coordinator Kristina Thelen, the grant program’s creator. “The DIA recognizes organizing and administering an event can be expensive and difficult without a structure to help it progress. This grant will provide businesses with a portion of the funding they’ll need for the event.”

The program will make matching grant funds available to merchants who collaborate on throwing promotional events for the downtown community. There will be up to 10 grants of as much as $500 each and will be available in 2020 on a rolling basis. The grants are competitive and there is an application process.

Thelen says many downtown businesses already organize unique in-store events throughout the year and the DIA hopes this funding will foster even more promotional activities and encourage other businesses to create in-store promotions that engage the public and increase foot traffic downtown.

“We’d like to see our downtown businesses organize diverse and innovative offerings. This grant program is a way to give kudos to the businesses who are bringing those types of functions downtown,” added Thelen.

The grant application can be found online here.