SEEC Launches New “Placemaking” Curb Appeal Program


SEEC Placemaking: Curb Appeal Program will provide matching grants for commercial property improvements 


(January 29, 2024, Schoharie, NY) – Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corp (SEEC) is delighted to announce a new locally-funded grant opportunity coined SEEC Placemaking: Curb Appeal Program. The comprehensive approach involves free design consultations, online resources and an architect charette to be scheduled for early March. Commercial businesses and property owners located in the Village centers and hamlets are eligible with preference given to historic district improvements. Applications will be available online February 1st with a submission deadline of March 29, 2024. Funding awards will be announced in May for 2024 project completion. 

 The goal is to encourage pedestrian-friendly, well-appointed, high-quality Main Street corridors. Through private donations, SEEC will match Schoharie County property owner and business investments up to $5,000. In some cases, it may be more. 

 “It is no surprise we believe that where investment occurs, matters,” remarked Tom Putnam, Board Chairman of Fenimore Asset Management and Chair of SEEC. “We are fully committed to making our communities more desirable. Co-investing with local businesses to beautify Main Street is a step in that direction”.  

 SEEC’s Curb Appeal Program is focused on exterior design and necessary building improvements along each of the six Village Main Streets, hamlets and eight different eligible historic districts. SEEC is offering $1,000 – $5,000 matching grants with discretion for added investment for high impact projects. Commercial and mixed-use property owners or business tenants are eligible. 

 An applicant may be selected to receive a grant up to 50% or $5,000 of the total approved project cost, the SEEC Board maintains discretion to increase awards. The other 50% must be matched with another source of funds be it cash, bank loan or other grant resource. In some cases, special financing and tax exemptions may be available.  

 SEEC has designed the program to include free access to design professionals. “SEEC understands that a positive visual impact, one that complements the character of the business district, will generate more interest and stimulate more business activity and vitality,” added Trish Bergan, SEEC Program Administrator. “We have asked design professionals to provide consultation for projects so we may learn tips of the trade that may stretch the dollar and enhance the outcomes.”  

 Placemaking as defined by New York State is the notion that where investment occurs matters. A guiding state principle, to retain and attract a talented workforce, the built environment must emphasize creating accessible job centers, sustainable infrastructure and livable communities. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential, with the intention of creating spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and well-being. 

 This program was made possible by the Marge and Randy Becker Foundation, Sterling Insurance Company Foundation, Fenimore Asset Management and other generous private donors. Visit, email or call Trish at (518) 517-1700 to learn more about the Curb Appeal Program or how you may invest with SEEC as a 501c3. 


About Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corp. Established by the private sector, Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation, commonly known as “SEEC,” was organized as a not-for-profit to strengthen Schoharie County by fostering economic growth. SEEC serves as a liaison to local municipalities and institutional leaders with the common goal of highlighting distinctive points of light within the community, cultivating entrepreneurial endeavors, and enhancing the ability of local businesses to add value to their enterprises. SEEC is guided by social, environmental, and financial principles that will accelerate growth and help provide sustainability through a collaborative and thriving business community.  


Press Contact: 

Julie Pacatte, Executive Director
Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation (SEEC)
(518) 517-1700 

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