Urban renewal funding aims at revival
Storefronts across the downtown area will be fixed up as part of a project run by the Estacada Development Association.
With the economy still in a slump, local businesses are doing all they can to generate revenue. And now there is some urban renewal funding to help.
The Estacada Development Association (EDA) secured $30,000 in urban renewal funding to be granted for storefront and façade improvements.
The project just recently completed the pilot phase in which the EDA renovated the façade of Fearless Brewing Company and Hi-Tech Solutions. Fearless Brewing received a new awning while Hi-Tech Solutions received a new awning as well as new siding.
'Main Street is the heart of our community, and when it is thriving then the whole community is doing well,' Gloria Polzin, Estacada Main Street manager, said.
The program is open to any business within the city's urban renewal district, which includes businesses along Main Street and Broadway, as well as across Highway 224.
'I know that in other communities, a program like this has had a huge impact,' Polzin said. 'And at a conference we were at, some businesses grew as much as 30 percent in just three months.'
As far as how the money will be distributed and what projects will be funded, a lot remains to be determined depending on how many applicants are received. So far, only two businesses have applied for funding.
The projects that can be applied for are anything having to do with the improvement of a business's storefront. That could include painting, replacing an awning, installing new siding or any other type of improvement.
'The façade is the first thing customers see and sometimes they won't go in if it doesn't look good. So we're doing everything we can to improve what our downtown looks like to hopefully bring customers and dollars in,' Polzin said.
When businesses apply, they will identify what project they need help funding in regard to their storefront. Once all of the applications are in, Polzin and her board will review the applications and decide which businesses will get help and how much help they will receive.
Some smaller projects such as a simple paint job may be entirely paid for with grant money, however, larger projects may be funded partially by the grant with owners having to cover the remaining costs.
'This whole thing is about perspective because imagine people saying, 'that looks like a cute place to go into' or 'that looks like a good place to eat', and the façade sometimes determines whether someone will go into a building,' Polzin said.