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Citizens Bank Foundation provides $35,000 grant for neighborhood revitalization in partnership with the Main Street Initiative of Laconia

Growing Communities initiative to stimulate economic development in downtown Laconia

MANCHESTER, N.H. (October 30, 2013) – The Citizens Bank Foundation today unveiled the details of its partnership with the Main Street Initiative of Laconia (MSI) as part of its Growing Communities initiative announced in September. Citizens awarded $70,000 in grants to neighborhood revitalization efforts in Nashua and Laconia, providing $35,000 for MSI to establish a façade-improvement program in downtown Laconia.

“Citizens’ Growing Communities initiative was established to help support and promote neighborhood-based programs that have a significant impact on communities across New Hampshire,” said Kathleen Reardon, SVP and Director of Public Affairs, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “Strengthening the health and economic vitality of our local communities is a priority at Citizens. We believe our grants will help enhance the character and overall well-being of these neighborhoods, support small businesses and spur additional investments in these communities.”

The Main Street Initiative of Laconia will provide matching grants of up to $5,000 to property and business owners inside the Beacon Street loop in the central downtown business district. The initiative will encourage businesses to make investments that beautify the downtown area, with the ultimate goal of decreasing vacancy rates and increasing consumer traffic.

“We are focused on revitalizing downtown Laconia by building community and encouraging investment in the area,” said John Moriarty, President of the Main Street Initiative of Laconia. “The façade improvement program will help local property and business owners grow their businesses and will contribute to the strength of the downtown.”

Belknap Economic Development Council will provide additional resources and technical assistance to help business owners strengthen their operations. Belknap EDC offers a loan fund for Main Street businesses across Belknap County that can be used to meet matching requirements. In addition, free business advisor services are available at Belknap EDC’s office to assist in project planning.

Successful applicants must demonstrate that the façade-improvement project will enhance the appearance of the community, foster business growth and leverage additional resources. Application packets are available online at www.laconiamainstreet.org, or at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce Office on South Main Street. Completed applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, February 14, 2014.

Growing Communities is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program to contribute to the economic vitality of its communities. The Growing Communities initiative is designed to promote and make investments in neighborhood revitalization based on the existing assets of a community. Since 2012 Citizens has awarded $155,000 to neighborhood projects in Berlin, Manchester, Nashua and Laconia.

About Citizens Helping Citizens
Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program is composed of five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and colleague charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.