Façade Improvement Program increases appearance and desirability of Manchester businesses
Manchester, NH – The Manchester Economic Development Office (MEDO) has recently completed four Neighborhood Façade Improvement projects during the third quarter of 2009. The Façade Improvement Program provides grants to local businesses and property owners as part of a city-wide effort to enhance the visual appearance and desirability of Manchester businesses. Recent local businesses benefiting from the Façade Improvement Program were Normand’s Hair Care, Ignite Restaurant, Manchester Music Hall, and XO on Elm. The Façade Improvement Program represented a total city investment of $17,000 during the Third Quarter, while business owners contributed $44,598.
Manchester business owners who have taken advantage of the Façade Improvement Program have expressed their appreciation to the city for supporting their business especially during these tough economic times. They realize the wonderful opportunity these funds provide them to invest in other areas of their business, such as hiring new employees. Neville Pereira, owner of Ignite Restaurant on Hanover Street, a new restaurant with 25 full-time employees was able to take the money he saved on exterior work to improve the interior design and purchase equipment. “The (façade) program was phenomenal, there are a lot of costs associated with opening a new business and this gave us the opportunity to invest in other areas of the restaurant to help attract customers”. Joe Lacerda, owner of the Music Mill which recently moved from the Millyard to Elm Street, stated he used the façade grant to construct an awning which helps draw more attention to his business and also purchase tinted glass which will help protect his equipment and merchandise. Joe went on to add, “The money helped my business create a better exterior and get more people in the door, which is what it’s all about”.
“The value of the Façade Improvement Program is that it allows the city to support a wide variety of businesses to make improvements that create jobs while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of downtown Manchester and the surrounding areas” said Jay Minkarah, director of economic development for the City of Manchester. Nine additional Façade Improvement projects are currently underway including improvements for Karma Lounge on Elm Street and Alley Cat Pizza.
The Façade Improvement Program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Grants are made available to property owners and small businesses with less than 25 employees located in downtown Manchester and other designated areas for visible exterior improvements and signage. Grants are awarded on a one to one matching basis in amounts up to $5,000 per building or $3,500 per retail space.
For more information about the Neighborhood Façade Improvement Program, visit MEDO online at www.YourManchesterNH.com or call 603-624-6505.