The top 10 candidates will be awarded $15,000 in forgivable loans to help purchase equipment for their businesses in downtown Allentown.

66% of all small businesses fail within their first five years, while 87% of businesses in an incubator are still operating after the same five-year period.

The Retail Mosaic is an organic public/private partnership that supports new retail business growth in downtown Allentown. The Retail Mosaic will provide a financial award of up to $15,000 and a network of reduced-rate and/or pro-bono assistance by professional support services typically needed by entrepreneurs.

It is a competition for the most serious business-minded people. Our goal is to encourage the best new retail ideas to open up within the targeted areas of the Upside Allentown Program Area, employ Allentown residents, and fill and rejuvenate storefronts.



Anywhere within the Upside Allentown Area: Jordan Heights, Old Fairgrounds, Seventh Street District, Old Allentown Historic District, Allentown Promise Neighborhood, Hamilton District. For a list of readily available, appropriately zoned spaces, please contact us at 610-439-5964 or



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  • A complete business plan
  • Create a minimum of two low-moderate income jobs over the next three years
  • Located within the Upside Allentown Area
  • Full application with all appropriate identifying information*
  • Three years of financial pro formas (projections)*
  • Business financial statements and/or tax returns*
  • Personal financial statements/personal tax returns*
  • $100 application fee*

* indicates a requirement for Full Application

All business/personal financial information will be held confidential.







Marketing & Window Displays





Those awarded will have access to our Ecosystem of professionals. This support system is there to provide mentorship and services in some of the most sought-after need areas essential for business creation, launch and development. These services include: marketing, accounting, legal, architecture, etc.

Michael Stoudt

Stoudtpoole, PLLC

Todd Collins

HMK Insurance

Lauren Smith

11.11. Social
Social Media Marketing

Julie M. Macomb

Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.

Peter Kareha

National Penn Insurance

Erich Hornung

David Hornung Architect Planner, Inc.

Jeff Berdahl

RLB Certified Public Accountants

Robert L. Buck

Buckno Lisicky & Company
Certified Public Accountants

Santo Napoli

Assembly88, The Archive, New York Urban
Marketing/Window Displays

Jack Gross

Gross McGinley, LLP

Peter Lewnes

Façade Coordinator

LaMarr Watson

Prime Media Works
Social Media Marketing/IT

Nancy Dischinat

Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc.


Business Development, Allentown City


Business Development, Allentown City

Betsy Kohl

Hamilton District Main Street Manager

Kevin Greene

Lehigh Valley Faces
Digital Marketing

DJ Kormanik

Business Development

Miriam Huertas

Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce
SVP, Allentown


Submit a two-page executive summary of your business plan below. Applicants will be pre-screened based on commitment to create jobs and a solid business plan, with a selected group moving on.


If approved, you will be emailed the full application. You should be ready to submit the same information that one would submit to obtain a commercial loan or investment. A detailed checklist  will be provided.

The Pitch

The Top 20 candidates will be required to deliver a 10-minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges. Retail Mosaic will award 10 of the candidates a $15,000 forgivable loan.





YOUR Customer Base


The average salary in the newly constructed buildings since the Allentown Renaissance began is $70,000


There are close to 10,000 jobs/people working within a 6 block radius.


Event days (1 of every 3 days) brings an additional 15,000 people to downtown Allentown.

Got more questions?


What is the Retail Mosaic?

A competition to encourage the BEST new retail ideas to open-up within the Upside Allentown Program Area. It is an organic, collaborative public/private partnership that will make a financial award of $15,000, and provide a network of reduced-rate and pro-bono professional support services, typically needed by entrepreneurs.


What types of businesses are eligible?
Serious entrepreneurs only. You must have a complete business plan in order to apply.   If you do not, please let us know, and we will connect you with resources, so you may apply next year. Businesses must fit and work within the fabric of the neighborhood; retail businesses are encouraged to apply. Sorry, no restaurants.

Where must I locate my business?
Anywhere within the Upside Allentown Area (see map); however, we’ve made it easier for you. Please contact us. We keep an updated list of readily available, appropriately zoned, 800-2,000 square foot spaces. We know the owners, the lease rates, and we can help. All properties identified have been strategically grouped together to ensure the most pedestrian traffic possible.

What are my obligations, if I win?
You must create two full-time equivalent jobs within three years. Your business model must support that.   Jobs created must meet low/moderate income requirements. Please refer to loan guidelines for specifics. (R)

How do I apply?
Apply online. You must be able to succinctly condense your business plan to a two-page executive summary. You must also submit your full business plan.

How will I know if I am being considered?
Following initial screening, the Retail Mosaic staff will be reaching out to you, for submission of financial information for review. If we contact you, you will know that you are being considered. Please refer to Application or screening criteria.

How will the competition work?

Selected finalists will be contacted to deliver a 10 minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges. The top 15 competitors will deliver their “business plan pitch” to a group of judges. Awards will be made to up to ten businesses.


How can the funding work?
Besides creating the jobs, an awarded company can utilize the funding toward the purchase of equipment. The loan will “forgive itself” after five years if you follow all program guidelines. (No, you cannot win the award, and then move your business).


How can the funding be used?
The funding can be used for machinery and equipment purchases; such as POS systems, copiers, display shelving, etc. It may NOT be used for construction or renovation.

How will the network or ecosystem benefit my business?
An entrepreneur spends a lot of his or her time learning their new market. We have readily identified a list of capable and willing professionals to provide discounted or pro-bono hours of service in some of the most sought-after need areas (architecture, marketing, accounting, legal, construction, etc.)

How do I ask additional questions?
Contact us at the following email: