Several downtown businesses have spruced up their storefronts with new signs and awnings with help from the and a new grant program.
The DMC created the Façade Improvement Grant Program this year and allocated $8,000 to provide assistance with new signs, awnings or façade improvements. Five businesses took advantage of the program, which was open to all businesses in the downtown business district.
Grant recipients are eligible for up to 20 percent of the cost of a new sign, awning or façade improvement with a maximum grant of $1,000. Business owners must comply with the design standards and receive the grant money after the sign or awning is approved and installed.
Both new and existing business owners took advantage of the 2011 grant program. More than $2,500 was distributed to , Artemisia, , and . Two more grant applications are pending.
The DMC expects to continue the grant program in 2012. This project is part of the DMC effort to streamline the sign and awning process and update and simplify the design standards.
“We worked with several business owners on a draft guideline for signs, awnings and facades. The DMC Board is currently reviewing that draft and will send recommendations to the Township Committee,” said Kathleen Miller Prunty,
downtown director. After the new guidelines and regulations are adopted, the DMC will print a Design Handbook for business owners.