Norther Development Initiative Trust’s Business Facade Improvement Program is available to business owners across northern BC. It helps businesses cover some of the costs of facade improvements. It’s done in an effort to revitalize downtown areas.
President of Downtown Prince George, Eoin Foley says that in the past a quarter of the cost has been covered.
“For 2016 we’re very proud to announcement that we’re going to be offering 50 per cent of the upgrades maxing out at five thousand dollars. Where as previously we’ve only offered 25 per cent.”
This increase for 2016 is being brought in to encourage businesses to do their improvements now.
A Irish Pub will open in the New Year, next to the Twisted Cork. Foley says it’s one business that’s taking advantage of the grant.
“The Black Clover that’s going to be opening up fairly shortly is our latest applicant. They’re going to be receiving five thousand dollars from downtown Prince George to go towards the improvement of the facade.”
Renata King with the Northern Development Initiative Trust says the way a downtown looks is essential to a community’s well being.
“The business facade improvement program is really to help businesses showcase their storefronts in a very positive way. As a visitor or even as a resident in the community its important that you have that look and feel of businesses that are well taken care of and appealing.”
These grants are available to businesses across the region. King says the program is part of an ongoing effort to make Northern BC a destination for the rest of the province, country, and world.
“Northern Development supports 29 communities with the business facade program. This year we’ve just finished all the applications and each of the communities gets 20-thousand dollars to help the businesses with their improvements.
Several downtown businesses have already taken advantage of the program. Foley and the Staff and Board of Downtown Prince George say it’s essential for buildings to look pleasing to both newcomers and existing members of the community.
“The facade of a building that a business is located in is often a first impression for any customers and is likely to draw people in as they’re walking past.”
The programs is now taking applications for the 2016 year.