A new program aims to improve business districts in Teaneck by giving merchants a streamlined way to upgrade their storefronts, officials announced.
Under the program, local merchants receive guidance from Construction Official Steven Gluck before submitting plans for sign and facade upgrades. If the application meets certain criteria, the township could grant approvals within ten business days from the time the completed applications are submitted, according a press release from the Chamber of Commerce.
Gluck said he would walk the businesses through the application process and discuss their plans. The goal is to provide an expedited approval and make the process more efficient.
“We don’t want them to spend money where they don’t need to spend it,” Gluck said in a presentation to the Township Council. “This is in an effort to jumpstart some of their business in this economy.”
Applications under the program would not require Planning or Zoning Board approvals, the chamber's release said.
Area banks have also joined the effort to provide financing packages for the upgrades, the release said. Berkshire Bank, Bogota Savings Bank, Citibank in Paramus, Cross River Bank, NVE Bank, Oritani Bank and Valley National Bank are participating.
On Monday, Cross River Bank announced it would offer up to $3 million in loans available for local businesses to improve signage and facades.
"Under this program, a business or commercial property owner in any part of the Township can apply for a low-cost loan of $5,000 to $25,000, payable over three to five years, to make improvements such as: exterior painting, new windows, awnings, tree planting, signage, furnishings, interior and exterior lighting, and furnishings," a news release from the bank said.
“Our bank was specifically opened to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Helping local businesses find the funds, expedite the process, and ultimately improve the appearance of our business districts is a critical priority for us,” Cross River Bank Chairman Gilles Gade said in the release.
Chamber of Commerce President Larry Bauer thanked Gluck and Township Manager William Broughton for creating the program.
“The entire community will benefit from having more attractive business thoroughfares,” Bauer said in a news release. “This program is applicable to all businesses in Teaneck.”
Article updated 10:40 a.m. Monday