GREENFIELD — Nothing kicks an improvement project over the top like a coat of fresh paint or a new awning, and downtown residents and business owners have until July 25 to apply for some financial aid to spruce things up.
Applications are now available for Greenfield Main Street Inc.’s summer 2014 facade grants, which offer property owners the opportunity to qualify for a matching grant up to $3,000 for storefront enhancements, said Main Street board member David Dellaca.
Since starting the program in 2010, more than $47,000 has been awarded to downtown property owners. That money, downtown supporters say, has served as a catalyst for other downtown beautifications projects worth more than $364,000.
Main Street program manager Shelley Swift said every $1 in grant money has resulted in about $13 worth of other improvements downtown.
City records show the program has funded 13 structural improvements such as paint, windows and tuck point repair, nine new signs and 11 new awnings since 2010.
Last year, a total of $13,672 was distributed to eight downtown busineses in varying amounts ranging from $937 to $3,000 for awnings, wall lamps, paint and other enhancements.
This will be the fifth year Greenfield Main Street has administered the grants, which are funded through the organization’s dues and activity revenues, along with funds it receives from the city.
The application period began on June 12, and to date, Greenfield Main Street has received only a handful of applications, Swift said.
“Beautifying downtown is our primary goal, and there are some places that could use a little TLC,” Swift said. “So we’re hoping people take advantage of it.”
The grants are available to commercial and residential property owners who live in the Main Street program area, which is bordered roughly by Walnut Street to the north, the Pennsy Trail to the south and Noble and Spring streets to the west and east, respectively.
In addition to being reviewed by Greenfield Main Street, plans and applications will also have to pass muster with the city historic board.
Final notification to the award winners will be given on Aug. 8, and the beautification and enhancement projects must be completed by Feb. 23, 2015.
City planning director Joanie Fitzwater said the program continues to spur ongoing beautification at the private and the public level.
“It helps their business, it helps downtown and it helps everybody,” Fitzwater said.
For more details or to download a grant application go to www.greenfieldmainstreet.org; contact Swift at (317) 586-8166 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.