Façade Grant Program extended

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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AHOSKIE – The Ahoskie Town Council has approved a second round of grant funding aimed at helping small businesses on Main Street.

By a unanimous vote at the Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 15, the Façade Grant Program will continue in an effort to assist those that did not apply during the first round of the program this past spring and summer.

Money to fuel the program is from Ahoskie’s share of the American Rescue Plan, federal dollars received in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Façade Grant Program assists property and business owners located within the identified areas on Main Street from the intersection of Academy Street all the way through Catherine Creek Road. This newest round of funding also includes those businesses that are up to a one block radius of Main Street (those located along adjoining side streets) to undertake storefront or building front improvements. These improvements can range from minor repairs and painting to substantial façade renovations on buildings used for commercial or office uses.

The goal of the grant three-fold:

  1. Encourage well-designed improvements;
  2. Restore significant architectural elements of the structure, and
  3. Coordinate the important features of a commercial or office storefront into a more visually attractive package.

These goals in turn are designed to increase the attractiveness of the downtown, increase patronage for the downtown businesses, and provide the incentive for further private investment on Main Street.

The program is funded through the Town of Ahoskie and will be reviewed by the Ahoskie Historical Commission as well as the Town Council. If multiple applications are received and funding is limited, the participants will be selected by the Town Council based on meeting the objectives of the program.

Commercial property owners on Main Street have from now until Jan. 13, 2023 to submit a funding application, which will include the estimated cost of the improvements. The grant is a “dollar-for-dollar” match up to $2,000. In order for the approved applicant to receive the entire $2,000, they would have to invest $4,000 in their planned improvements. If the approved applicant chooses to invest $2,000, the town would reimburse $1,000.

The town’s grant will be will be provided in the form of a reimbursement after work is completed and upon the submission of invoices. Those invoices will be reviewed to ensure eligible costs.

Any property/building owner or business operator with written authorization of the owner can apply for the grant. Business operators must have a minimum of two years remaining on their lease or have an option to renew.

Improvements must be on the façade of the building facing primary street orientation. If the business is located on a corner lot, the improvements must be made to the façades facing the two streets of primary orientation.

Those properties that were awarded façade grants during the first round of the program earlier this year are not eligible to apply for this newest round of funding.

Approved applications will be notified on Feb. 15, 2023 and will receive a Letter of Commitment showing the amount the town will reimburse.

The deadline to complete the work is April 28, 2023.

For more information about the grant, contact the Ahoskie Town Hall at 252-332-5146.



About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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