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City offers free cash to help battle blight in north Sacramento

Sacramento offers grants for to improve commercial corridors in this area of the city
Sacramento offers grants for to improve commercial corridors in this area of the city 01:55

SACRAMENTO — City officials are handing out free cash to help battle blight in the north Sacramento area.

"We're going to make an imprint on Del Paso Boulevard," said Kendall Robinson, owner of Five Starr Fades barbershop.

Robinson is trying to help boost business in the north Sacramento neighborhood where he's worked for the last two decades.

"My biggest hope is for the boulevard to be renovated, brought back to life," he said.

The area faced a number of setbacks in recent years, like an increase in crime and businesses destroyed by fire.

Today, there are still many vacant storefronts and boarded-up businesses, along with empty lots overgrown with weeds.

"There's a lot of room for improvement," said Shound Thou, the council member for the district.

Thao said the city is now trying to help improve the commercial corridors in north Sacramento by offering businesses up to $30,000 to help fix their facades and fight blight.

"These improvements will bring more attraction and foot traffic to the boulevard," Thao said.

Businesses like Shift Coffee, Lil Joe's, and Five Starr Fades are taking advantage of the program which can pay for new signs, exterior painting, more lighting, and outdoor gathering spaces.

"This is what some of the funding that was allocated by the city was used for—our business logo, the windows redesigned," Robinson said.

It's part of a larger effort by city leaders to improve the quality of life and help boost economic growth in the neighborhood by dedicating more than $2 million toward local businesses and nonprofit groups.

The City of Sacramento is accepting grant applications through August 5. Money for the program comes from federal pandemic relief funds.

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