Beverly Main Streets announced it is awarding $25,000 in grant money to five downtown area business for facade improvements.
Main Streets Executive Director Gin Wallace said the grants were given to the Atomic Cafe Coffee Roasters, K&D Upholstery, Marino's Cafe, the SunTan Studio and the City Side Diner. Wallace said the grants where all matched by other funds, with the potential for improvements totaling anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000.
Beverly Main Streets is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the revitalization of downtown Beverly, and works with the city on infrastructure projects to make Beverly more attractive to investors, Wallace said.
Wallace said the businesses were selected out of several applicants form the high trafficked area of downtown Beverly. Wallace said she was pleased with the results of the program and hoped neighboring businesses would take notice..
"We're really excited about it," she said. "Not only does it make dramatic improvements, other businesses can see what a difference it makes and will be more likely to participate next year."
The money will go to help businesses improve their exteriors by funding new signage, awnings, lighting and other improvements to storefronts.
The money is part of a community development block grant from the city of Beverly and is administered by Beverly Main Streets, Wallace said. In addition, capital for matching funds is available from "Banking on Beverly," a loan program from a collaboration of North shore banks designed to provide low interest loans downtown business owners to improve their buildings.
Wallace said unlike the last time this grant money was made available, this year Beverly Main Streets decided to concentrate the funding to one area to highlight the improvements.
"Before it was all over downtown, this year we concentrated it in this one section so there could be a dramatic visual improvement," Wallace said.
Stewart Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org