Some say the Dillon town core is a diamond in the rough. Town officials are now looking to put a polish on downtown by rewarding business owners who weathered the Great Recession.
Today the town of Dillon will unveil its Property Improvement Incentive Grant Program for commercial building and business owners located in the Dillon town core. The program’s goal is to leverage private improvements, while making revitalization efforts affordable, creative and community-based, as well as promote economic vitality within the town core.
“This idea was presented to us (town council) by the economic development committee and is designed to help sustain local businesses, while encouraging new business growth,” said town of Dillon Mayor Ron Holland. “Personally, existing businesses are more important to me because they’re here and they survived the economic downturn.”
The grant is designed as a 50/50 split for business and property improvement projects in the town core. The matching grant is capped at $10,000 per project.
Approved improvements include signs — new, repairs, replacements and removals, as well as facade improvements visible from the public right-of-way.
Bill Falcone, president of the Dillon Business Association, said he’s excited about the program, not simply because of the potential benefits for local business owners, but also for the entire town.
“I have to give credit to the town council and the Dillon Economic Development Committee for coming up with a great proposal,” Falcone said. “It’s a win/win all the way around because the grant will help owners improve their businesses, which will also improve all of downtown.”
The Property Improvement Incentive Grant is administered through the town of Dillon’s Economic Development Committee. The Dillon Town Council will provide final approval of any proposed improvement projects.
Owners interested in seeking grant funds may do so by downloading an application off the town of Dillon website, which can be found by clicking the “business” tab. Certain documentation, such as proof of ownership, project design drawings, cost estimates and maintenance plans must be included with all applications. Officials also recommend meeting with town or economic development council representatives about their project before filing an application.
Projects will be judged on their economic and aesthetic impacts within the town core and whether or not they follow town core design guidelines, in addition to their overall quality contributions to adjacent properties and visibility from public right-of-way.
“There’s so much we can do through P3 (public/private partnerships) to help our local businesses,” Holland said. “A lot of projects have been put on hold because of the economy, but now business owners can get these projects off the ground by partnering with town through this matching grant.”
Applications will be accepted through October 18. For more information, call Susan Fairweather at 970-262-3403.