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Essex Launches New Facade Improvement Grant

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Essex Launches New Facade Improvement Grant

Business owners in Essex Centre and Harrow Centre 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 Council, the Mini-Grant Program provides business owners operating in the designated CIP Project Areas of Essex Centre and Harrow Centre with a 100 percent 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,” says Jeff Watson, Policy Planner.

Since 2012, the Town has offered a comprehensive CIP program geared toward major alterations. That program requires property owners or business operators to contribute 50 percent 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,” says 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 wait 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, please contact the Planning Department at 519-776-7336, extension 1128.