GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The City of Grants Pass is working with businesses to give the historic downtown area a facelift. The city has $30,000 dollars' worth of grants and they want to use this money to help downtown businesses update the front of their stores.
Stroll through Downtown Grants Pass and you'll see all different types of store fronts. Some are made out of brick and others are painted green. They're all eligible to apply for the Facade Improvement Grant Fund. The grant will help downtown businesses update the outside of their stores.
The city will cover 50 percent of any update and will reimburse businesses a maximum of $5000. People who work with the City of Grants Pass said these facelifts will contribute to the city's positive climate.
"Improving your facade, it gives a great first impression for people coming in to town," said Susan Seereiter, a city business advocate. "There's people still coming to move to Grants Pass. We want them to feel welcome and we want them to know we care about our city."
Businesses should apply for a grant before making any renovations, said Seereiter. That's because any updates must be approved by the city and city council. The grant approval process can take about a month.
Less than ten businesses received a grant, according to Seereiter. The Grants Pass Museum of Art is one of them. The museum used the grant to replaced wood paneling and re-varnish the front door. Lights at the front of the store will also be updated to make the area brighter, according to Executive Director Hyla Lipson.
Right now, paintings created by a local Ashland artist Corey Kahn line the walls of the museum. The collection of art is called Blueprints. Lipson said the grant allowed the front of the museum to look like a work of art, too.
"If people walk by something that's shabby looking, they're going to think that what's inside is also shabby," said Lipson. "If it's done well and if it looks cool, people are going to go, 'what's inside there,' and, 'this is pretty neat.' You have to look pretty tidy. And this is a historic area, so we want to keep it really nice here."
King Jewelers also received a grant. They used the money to build a new awning and renovate the front of the store.
Downtown businesses can call Susan Seereiter at 541-450-6014 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for a grant.
For more information about the grant click here.