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Businesses sought for curb appeal grants

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Money available to beautify downtown storefronts .

By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos MainStreet is looking for Los Alamos businesses in the downtown MainStreet District to apply for curb appeal grants.

These are matching grant funds designed to assist business owners interested in sprucing up their store fronts with new signage, landscaping and other enhancements.

The grants are worth up to $500 and available by application.

“We will be contacting many of the eligible businesses in the near future,” said Administrator Bryan Farmer of the Curb Appeal Grant program. “We want this coming year to be the best so far.”

The Los Alamos MainStreet Program is an initiative of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation, which focuses on efforts to revitalize downtown Los Alamos as a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly center. This is the second year the program is helping fund local curb appeal projects. The money comes from the county, which was first approached by the LACDC in 2009 with the idea. The program is one way in which the county can directly assist local small businesses.

“I hope all of the businesses will take advantage of the matching grants,” said Member Services Coordinator Katy Korkos.

“It gives our local businesses a chance to do just a little bit more than they already do to boost our community pride, and it may even raise property values. All kinds of businesses can apply including apartments, doctors’ offices, real estate offices and they can use the money for anything that will improve the appearance of the business – signage, window replacement, flowers or landscaping.”

MainStreet Manager Suzette Fox of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation said the deadline to apply for a curb appeal grant is May 31.

“A link to the application and instructions are available online at www.LAMainStreet.com,” Fox said.
“This includes a curb appeal self assessment, resource listing and a guide to container gardening.”

She explained that the MainStreet Program is working to enhance the appearance and image of downtown Los Alamos, provide leadership in advocating for improvements to the physical environment of downtown, provide assistance to downtown businesses and property owners, build public awareness of the downtown as a destination and attract people to socialize, shop and enjoy local restaurants, history and culture.

Contact Bryan Farmer for more information on the project. He can be reached at 661-4862 and bryanf@losalamos.org.