Community Futures executive director Lori Camire and City of Port Alberni economic development manager Pat Deakin work together to implement the city's new facade improvement program.

Community Futures executive director Lori Camire and City of Port Alberni economic development manager Pat Deakin work together to implement the city's new facade improvement program.

Facade improvement program deadline hits June 6

The deadline for receiving thousands of dollars to upgrade your Port Alberni storefront is coming up on June 6.

Want to give your business a face lift? The deadline for receiving thousands of dollars to upgrade your storefront is coming up on June 6.

“The facade improvement program is partly in response to the ‘Top 10 to Tackle’ list that was identified through our communication with the business community about a year ago where community beautification was important [to businesses],” said Community Futures executive director Lori Camire.

“It really recognizes that businesses are the foundation of the community and supports businesses, most of which have been here for a long time and both good times and bad times.”

Business owners within Port Alberni can receive up to $8,500 to upgrade the look of their business.

“The grant portion is up to 50 per cent of the improvement cost, up to a maximum of $5,000 for a single-face building. If it’s a corner building it could be up to $7,500. If it’s on a higher profile area like the Johnston corridor or the Third and Argyle area, then it’s an additional $1,000,” said Camire.

“The facade improvement directly relates to the business owners improving the front of their business. It’s a direct grant to support the improvement of the appearance of the business. We pay a portion of the facade improvement and we’ve also attached an architect to work with the approved business owners.”

According to the city, “the objective of this program is to make significant improvements to the appearance of our streetscapes, even if it is just one building at a time.”

According to Camire, a loan option is also available should a business need more funding than they can get from the grant.

“Community Futures has also attached a loan option for people who would need a loan to get their improvement completed,” she said, adding that the reaction to the program has been positive.

“It’s outstandingly busy, it’s been crazy busy. We probably have more than 20 businesses spaces already,” she said.

For more information on how to apply, visit http://www.portalberni.ca/business-fa%C3%A7ade-improvement-program. The deadline is June 6, 2016.

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