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Front Page - Friday, February 15, 2019

Mayor kicks off strategy for stronger neighborhoods

Brainerd’s Tacoa Park will receive a new playground and additional updates as one of the City of Chattanooga’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund projects in 2019. - Photo by David Laprad | Hamilton County Herald

Chattanooga is a city of safe, beautiful, connected neighborhoods where businesses and families can thrive.

That’s the vision behind a series of strategic investments the City of Chattanooga is preparing to make in neighborhoods across the city over the next several months.

The city’s focus in building stronger neighborhoods revolves around three initiatives:

• The Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund

• The Small Business Corridor program

• The Affordable Housing Fund

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund will focus on opportunities for location-based investment determined by the city’s planning process. For example, Brainerd’s Tacoa Park will receive a new playground and additional park updates as one of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund projects slated for 2019.

“This is about more than replacing playground equipment,” Mayor Andy Berke says. “In a neighborhood, every improvement has a big impact. These investments improve public safety, create more foot traffic for small businesses and keep our neighborhoods strong.”

More information on the Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund is available at www.connect.chattanooga.gov/NRF.

The city’s Small Business Corridor program is an initiative to help small businesses that have successful track records but find it difficult to grow their revenues, customer base or workforce. The resources made available through this program, which is intended for business owners who cannot find other sources of capital, will fund infrastructure improvements, marketing, and training and certification programs.

Berke announced the Affordable Housing Fund during his 2018 State of the City address. The program is designed to help produce and preserve housing for low-income families. The fund was capitalized with an investment of $1 million per year for the next five years.

“Chattanooga is growing, and that affects every part of our city,” Berke says. “Supporting our neighborhoods improves the quality of life for all our residents.”

The mayor will hold additional events Feb. 18 and 25, when he will meet with small-business owners who can potentially receive funding from the SBC and visit a property in Avondale to announce a new initiative of the Affordable Housing Fund.

Event details will be shared closer to the date.

Source: City of Chattanooga