Businesses miss out on development grant

THE CITY and local businesses represented by the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area missed out on a $20,000 grant to improve business facades

THE CITY and local businesses represented by the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area missed out on a $20,000 grant to improve business facades because of a missed application deadline, mayor Dave Pernarowski told council at a July 22 meeting.

The business facade improvement program—offered through the Northern Development Initiative Trust—offers financing to split costs with local businesses to help them jazz up the exterior of their establishments to a maximum of $5,000 each.

The mayor told council that everybody needed to be a bit more diligent about keeping on top of opportunities like this.

“I want to make sure that people are popping into the northern development website to take a look at the different programs that are available because I did notice we were missing off of that long list of communities that have already jumped on this,” said Pernarowski.

Twelve other northern towns were awarded the grant, including Prince Rupert, Burns Lake, Quesnel, Lytton, Port Clements, Fort St. James, Wells, Smithers, Williams Lake, Fort St. John, McBride and Prince George.

Answering to the issue of the missed application deadline, director of development services David Block said that the last time he was in contact with TDIA was in the springtime but nothing was ever submitted.

“We talked about that opportunity and the city applying and transferring over to them to administer the program to their membership,” said Block.

TDIA chair Anna Beddie said she was the one who was going to submit the application but that work and other obligations got in the way of her volunteer duties in this capacity.

“Because I work full-time, it’s hard to get all the stuff in,” Beddie said. “What we’ve done is hire a coordinator to help us with that.”

She said that the new coordinator, Dennis Lissimore, will make sure to submit an application for the 2014 business facade improvement grant.

Northern Development communications director Joel McKay said this certainly wasn’t the last chance to apply, and encouraged the city to try in the future.

“The program is available to each municipality on an annual basis. We have another application intake this year so if TDIA is interested in the program, we encourage them to submit for the November intake at which point if it’s approved by the board, then the grant would be available for business facade improvement in 2014.”

Councillor Stacey Tyers is the city’s 2013 liaison to TDIA. The organization formed in 2011/2012.