Utica, NY (WIBX) - Some businesses in downtown Utica are getting some much needed good news from Utica Mayor David A. Roefaro with the announcement of a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant. Surrounded by many local business owners, Roefaro said the funding that his administration lobbyed for, is to improve the 100 block of Genesee Street and the 100 to 200 block of Bleecker Street.

"Make no mistake about it that this $500,000 will grow jobs in Utica. Whether it's construction jobs, whether it's jobs that are related to the businesses that will grow in Utica. These fine people behind me, I know many of them have started to work on their buildings already. I know that just on the block of Bleecker Street, there's probably collectively about $1 million of private funding that have already been put into these buildings, " Roefaro said.

The mayor added that some of the funds will be allocated to build 170 lofts on Bleecker street near the USC campus. He said $350,000 of the grant will go towards the lofts. Officials say the grant will be administered through the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and businesses in the area can start applying for funding to help improve their establishments.

Roefaro said that the Restore New York Grant, a $2.1 million grant the city received to restore the downtown area will coincide with the $500,000 Main Street Grant that was just awarded and said, "Collectively to date, we have brought over $5 million worth of grant money into this downtown area through our administration. That will grow jobs, you will see the fruits of our labor, because eventually that will be the economic catalyst that we need."