BUCKHANNON — Are you a business owner whose enterprise is in need of a facelift?
The City of Buckhannon wants business and commercial property owners to know that it is currently offering financial assistance for individuals who are interested in renovating the front of their buildings.
Each year, the city offers a façade grant program, which provides money to those interested in making upgrades. The program provides a 50 percent reimbursement to commercial or industrial businesses with a maximum grant funding request of $2,500. For example, to receive the maximum funding of $2,500, a business must expend $5,000 on renovations.
This year, the city has $10,000 available in its façade grant budget, so grants are available to at least four businesses, according to finance and administrative director Amberle Jenkins. Jenkins said she’s heard that several businesses are considering applying but the city has yet to receive any applications. There’s no time to waste in applying, however, as the money available must be expended by June 30 — the end of the fiscal year.
Mayor David McCauley encourages businesses within the corporate limits to apply.
“Our city is pleased to partner with Buckhannon businesses to help them realize improvements to their building façades,” McCauley said. “Application should occur prior to commencement of the façade improvement, and the improvement should be undertaken in a manner that is restorative of the building’s original appearance that embellishes Buckhannon’s historical look.”
McCauley said city council reviews and approves the façade improvement grant applications.
Here’s how the grant process works: the approved applicant must submit all paid invoices to the City of Buckhannon before any reimbursement can be provided. Additionally, applicants must complete the façade improvement project within a six-month period following project approval and date of the notification letter.
The following improvements are eligible for funding reimbursement: replacement or repair of brickwork, plaster or wood siding, including painting, cleaning and repainting; replacing, repairing or relocating storefronts, doors, windows, parapets or cornices, including the removal of extraneous elements or inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes or materials; change of exterior lighting or additional exterior lighting; repairs, addition or installation of awnings; installation or improvement of permanently installed signage; and landscape improvements.
McCauley touched on the benefits the entire city — not just individual business owners — reap from the grant program.
“Our entire community benefits immeasurably from historical restoration efforts and beautifying our downtown,” the mayor said. “Our façade program helps market Buckhannon, making us more appealing to our residents, guests and prospective additional businesses who are looking to establish themselves in a quaint, charming environment.”
To obtain an application, email Jenkins at [email protected] or stop by city hall at 70 E. Main St. Questions? Call 304-472-1651.