As demolition plans to the Realty Building continue to unfold, downtown businesses are struggling. 

A partnership between the City of Youngstown and the Chamber of Commerce will provide $200k to businesses most affected by the blast. 

Now, the city is working to pinpoint which businesses will benefit while also pledging to improve its communication with downtown stakeholders. 

"The people in this room and city hall need to be out facing the people and these businesses," said Councilman Mike Ray. "The city has to have a communication plan. This won't make them whole but we need to help with that gap."

Restaurants, bars, and other Downtown Youngstown businesses are awaiting word from the city to see if they will benefit from the $200k explosion relief dollars. This comes as spots like Avalon Downtown and Bistro 1907 have told 21 News they do not have any communication with the city.

"It is recognizing to be a bandaid and we recognize that," explained Nikki Posterli, Chief of Staff with the City of Youngstown. "Which is why we are talking with philanthropic partners to say, 'Hey, can you match us some kind of way."

From ongoing construction and the explosion, the city wants to focus it's financial resources on businesses that rely on foot traffic. The company must also have been established before January of 2023. 

"It's a temporary fix," explained Councilman Julius Oliver. "As a business owner, that help will blow through in a day. That'll make up for something that was in deficit a month or two ago. Once we get all the information, we can look at whether or not we need to get out more to help our businesses."

Oliver also pitched creating a commercial to encourage the general public to visit the area and patronize bars, restaurants and breweries. 

Council members including Julius Oliver and Mike Ray want to see better communication between the city and downtown business owners.

"It's pretty much uncomfortable to go out because I get bombarded," Ray said. "There's lots of things going on to remedy this and the word isn't being spread. I just want it to be communicated better and there's got to be a way we can do that."

City leaders said ways to improve communication with the downtown community include a Youngstown portal or text thread to keep businesses up to speed. 

"Our businesses downtown and our residents are at top of mind right now. The lack of information makes people more scared and frustrated about what the ultimate outcome will be with their business," Oliver added. "So, the more the administration can communicate, the better. Communication needs to be better."

The city's administration pledged to meet with downtown business leaders soon and will announce who will receive a city of the $200k the week of July 14th.

The city is also eligible to use its remaining ARP dollars to help keep businesses afloat.