Facade improvement grants available for downtown businesses

Storefront lacking luster? Faded awnings inducing yawnings? Downtown Terrace business owners have until June 1 to apply to the Facade Grant Program and receive up to $5,000 in matching funds to help improve the look and feel of the downtown area.

Now five years running, the program’s coordinator, Danielle Beausoleil, learned only a couple weeks ago it would be running again this year. She’s been knocking on doors and cold-calling business owners but so far only a small handful have submitted applications for a share of the $20,000 available.

“It has to be an improvement on the facade—anything facing the street,” Beausoleil said. “I want to get the call out for applicants to be a part of the process. The downtown area is bigger than just that one block (Lakelse Avenue), so it would be nice to see applicants from businesses outside that area as well.”

The program, financed through the Northern Development Initiative Trust, is a joint effort between the City of Terrace and the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area (TDIA).

READ MORE: Days numbered for dreary downtown canopy

The aim of the program is to improve the character and physical appearance of the downtown area and to support the revitalization efforts currently underway.

“The physical environment in which we live and work has a great effect on us,” reads TDIA promotional material. “A community that is more appealing to the eye gives its citizens a greater sense of place and welcomes customers and visitors. The quality and character of the building facades on the main streets in the downtown area of any community is a powerful accelerant for economic development.”

The grant money is available for commercial and retail storefronts only within the Downtown Improvement Area. Projects already underway are not eligible.

Applicants are required to submit a design drawing of the proposed improvements to the Project Review Committee. Professional drawings are not required, but the committee strongly encourages applicants to seek professional assistance.

Grants will be awarded based on merit and visual impact on the streetscape. For guidelines, qualifications and application forms visit www.tdia.ca.



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