It's all about curb appeal. So since 1983, the city of Cleveland has worked with business owners to use rebate and loan programs to help finance storefront renovations.
"Your commercial retail district is like the front door of your home," says Terri Sandy, manager of the storefront renovation program. "You need your retail main street to be attractive."
In 2010, the city completed 51 projects, including exterior rehabilitations, parking lot improvements and new signage. The program — for which city employees assist with design plans, find contractors and secure funding — aims to help 50 other businesses spruce up their properties this year.
"It changes the perception people have of their neighborhood," Sandy says. Here are three signs that caught our eye.