Essex Offers Improvement Grants To Small Businesses

(ESSEX, ON) – Business owners in Essex and Harrow may now be eligible for a refurbishment grant of up to $2,000 through the Town’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP) program. Approved at the January meeting of Essex Council, the Mini-Grant Program provides business owners operating in the designated CIP Project Areas of Essex and Harrow with a 100 per cent grant of up to $2,000 to support visual improvements to front façades, signage, murals, architectural features, entrances, lighting and awnings.

“This supplementary grant is intended to encourage minor rehabilitation of properties to address building façade deterioration and visible wear and tear that could be corrected at a relatively low cost,” said Jeff Watson, the Essex policy planner.

Since 2012, Essex has offered a comprehensive CIP program geared toward major alterations. That program requires property owners or business operators to contribute 50 per cent of the cost of rehabilitation through the Façade Improvement Grant, with the municipality providing up to $12,000 in grant monies.

“The Mini-Grant Program will allow business owners to refresh an existing façade and improve the business and building attractiveness without major alterations,” said Watson.

Businesses that receive a Mini-Grant are not prevented from filing a subsequent application for the larger façade improvement grant at the end of a 12-month waiting period. Businesses that have received or been approved for a Façade Improvement Grant are not eligible for this refurbishing grant.

To find out more about the Mini-Grant Program, contact the Planning Department at 519-776-7336, x1128.

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