McCORDSVILLE — Businesses in McCordsville in need of a fresh coat of paint, a new sign or an awning might be eligible to receive financial assistance from the town to make improvements to the exterior of their buildings.
Applications are open for the McCordsville Redevelopment Commission’s new façade grant program, which offers local businesses up to $5,000 in matching grants to make improvements to the front of their buildings.
The program, which is available to businesses that lie along a half-mile stretch of West Broadway between county roads 750N and 600W is designed to spur development along the busy traffic corridor, said McCordsville town manager Tonya Galbraith.
Applications for the first round of the program are available on the town’s website and will be accepted until the end of the month, said town planning and building director Ryan Crum.
Once approved for the program, business owners will be reimbursed for half of the money they spend on improvements to the front of their buildings.
The goal of the program is simple: By making the fronts of businesses in the area more attractive, town officials hope to increase the number of customers who shop there, which in turn will drive more economic activity to the area, Crum said.
Though the area recently landed several big developments, including a new grocery store and wellness center, town officials want to make sure it’s making an effort to retain existing businesses, Crum said.
Amanda Isom, manager of Salsbery Garden Center, 6346 W. Broadway, said she has wanted to install awnings on the exterior of her shop since opening it in 2010, but the price tag of the project — as much as $2,500 — has been too much to swing.
But with support through the new program, she hopes to complete the project this year, she said.
By improving her building, Isom hopes her building will become more appealing to passersby, she said.
“What the front of the building looks like is a reflection of what’s in the back,” she said.
After the first cycle of the grant program closes at the end of the month, businesses will have another opportunity to apply during the second round, which is open until June 30, Crum said. Up to $15,000 will be given out to eligible projects during each phase of the program.
Business owners will have up to 12 months to complete projects after they’ve been awarded grants.
The program will be paid for through funds drawn from the town’s TIF district, which sets aside tax dollars collected from businesses in the district lines to fund improvement projects there, Galbraith said.
For more information about the façade grant program, visit the town website, mccordsville.org.