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Curb appeal pays off handsomely

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Matching funds go to downtown businesses that spruced up storefronts

By Carol A. Clark

A fresh new look is blanketing downtown Los Alamos as businesses embrace a matching funds program. The Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation, through its MainStreet Curb Appeal grant program, facilitated the award of matching funds to downtown businesses and organizations that made curb appeal improvements.

More than 10 downtown businesses took advantage of the offer including LA Fitness, REA, Finishing Touch, Dr. Lee Acupuncture, Bi-Lingual Montessori School, Pet Pangaea, ReMax, Coffee Booth, Southwest Office Solutions and the Family YMCA, among others.

“This award helped us address a much-needed landscape issue on the corner of our property,” YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly said. “This assistance positively impacts our ability to use operating funds in other much needed areas, such as scholarships for our after school or camp programs, or for maintenance and equipment in the facility.”

Local projects addressed curb appeal improvements such as signage, landscaping, sidewalk and façade enhancements. Businesses and organizations that own or lease properties in the downtown area were eligible to apply for up to $500 in grant funding for one curb appeal project.

President and CEO Tracy Kitts of Southwest Office Solutions added two large plant containers filled with colorful flowers to the outside entry of her office at 1789 Central Ave., Suite 4. Kitts’ company is the Xerox sales agency and authorized dealer for Xerox products in Los Alamos.

Other companies involved in the program added hanging flower baskets, new benches or window blinds to their storefronts.

Loa Alamos MainStreet Manager Suzette Fox described response to the Curb Appeal Program as “a huge success.”

“Los Alamos MainStreet was successful in obtaining funding from Los Alamos County to use for matching funds to downtown businesses for improving curb appeal,” Fox said. “The downtown commercial district is the most visible indicator of a community’s economic and social health and we are pleased that so many businesses participated in improving the appearance of our downtown area.”

Los Alamos MainStreet goals focus on:

• Enhancing the appearance and image of downtown Los Alamos;

• providing leadership in advocating for improvements to the physical environment of downtown;

• providing assistance to downtown businesses and property owners;

• building public awareness of the downtown as a destination; and

• attracting people to socialize, shop and enjoy local restaurants, history and culture.

Los Alamos MainStreet is an accredited affiliate of New Mexico MainStreet and the National Historic Preservation Trust.

For more information on the next round of Curb Appeal grants, contact Bryan Farmer of the LACDC at 661-4862 or BryanF@losalamos.org.