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The Scoop

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Fort Wayne to begin 5th round of business facade grants

Statement as issued Thursday by the city of Fort Wayne:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Businesses looking to improve their curb appeal may be able to get a boost from the City of Fort Wayne’s Commercial Façade Grant program. The program was introduced by Mayor Tom Henry five years ago and provides local businesses the opportunity to apply for matching grants to improve the exterior of their buildings.

“The Commercial Façade Grant program is a great way to help small businesses,” Mayor Henry said. “When businesses improve their buildings, it sends a strong message that the surrounding neighborhood is vibrant and a good place for other businesses to invest.”

Applications for the grants will be accepted from November 12 through December 14, 2012; they are available online at www.cityoffortwayne.org/commercial-programs.html or by calling 3-1-1.

Since Mayor Henry kicked off the Commercial Façade Grant program in 2008, 55 façade improvement projects have been completed or are in the process of being completed, generating a private investment of $2,666,975. The city requires applicants to provide matching funds in order to receive the grant.

“We are excited to be part of the revival of the heart of our city,” said Jim Bushey, owner of Bushey’s Windows, Doors & Sunrooms, a 2012 grant recipient. “Our improvements help our business and also help the entire neighborhood.”

The program makes funds available to businesses along many of the city’s more highly travelled roads or corridors, such as Wells, State, Calhoun and Taylor streets, as well as Broadway. The areas have been designated as Economic Development Target Areas (EDTAs) by Fort Wayne City Council. Through the program, grants are made to businesses to help offset the costs of façade renovations, signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements, decorative fencing, and other enhancements owners want to make to their property’s façade.

Businesses are eligible for up to a $20,000 matching grant; multi-business or multi-tenant buildings are eligible for up to $40,000. Program financing comes from Community Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) funds.

For more information or questions about the program, contact Aliza Tourkow, grants manager, at 427-2792 or aliza.tourkow@cityoffortwayne.org.

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