Beautification grants under review
Main Street Siloam Springs is giving out $7,500 in matching grants to help downtown business owners beautify the exteriors of their buildings.
The downtown improvement committee is reviewing 11 proposals — more than twice as many as were submitted last year — and expects to be able to fund more than half of them, according to Kelsey Howard, director of Main Street Siloam Springs. The deadline for grant applications was Oct. 26.
Once the applications are approved by the committee, they will be reviewed by the Main Street Siloam Springs Board, before being sent to Main Street Arkansas for a final review by their exterior design consultant team. The recipients of the grants will be announced in coming weeks and will have until May to complete their projects, Howard said.
The Gloria McEnroe Building Improvement Matching Grant matches up $1,500 per building, with priority given to projects that restore historic buildings, according to the grant application.
Businesses are required to match one-third of the grant, Howard said.
Examples of previous projects include updates to signage, repair or replacement of wood windows and doors, restoration of store fronts and architectural elements, and addition or repair of awnings, canopies or marquees.
Main Street Arkansas has a design consultant who works with business owners to help them develop improvement plans, both for the grant program and otherwise, Howard said.
Restoring the exteriors of commercial buildings is an important part of the revitalization of the Main Street district, the application states. Main Street works closely with downtown business owners, offering both technical and financial assistance, to help preserve the area’s architectural heritage. The committee will give preference to improvements that make a space more accessible such as wheelchair ramps and automated doors, the application states.
“Our mission is to improve the accessibility, the aesthetics and the infrastructure of downtown as driven by the Master Plan,” Howard said. “The committee is primarily concerned with implementing
Our mission is to improve the accessibility, the aesthetics and the infrastructure of downtown as driven by the Master Plan. Kelsey Howard Executive Director, Main Street Siloam Springs
the Master Plan and just having fun doing it because there are so many different aspects… and so many pages of the Master Plan, there is something for everyone to take ownership of and feel passionate about.”