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Prince Rupert announces grants for business facade improvements

Downtown businesses can apply for up to $5,000 for exterior fix-ups starting Feb. 1
Businesses in Prince Rupert’s downtown core, including the Cow Bay area, can apply for a $5,000 exterior improvements to their buildings. (Seth Forward/The Northern View)

The city of Prince Rupert has announced it will provide up to $5,000 for exterior maintenance to eligible downtown businesses’ buildings in its annual Business Facade Improvement Program.

The program provides grants that will pay for up to 50 per cent of the cost of proposed improvements with the business expected to pony up the other half.

Much of the downtown Prince Rupert area is downtrodden, with boarded up businesses and empty lots along Third Avenue.

Revitalizing the downtown core is a priority for many in the community, according to Paul Vendittelli, Director of Economic Development and Transportation at the city of Prince Rupert.

“One of the most consistent messages we hear from residents is that they want to see more community pride in the downtown,” said Vendittelli in a news release.

“We don’t own the buildings, but this program is a way for us to support building and business owners in making the changes the community wants to see. We also have a number of other initiatives that we offer to businesses to help ease the upfront costs of improvements.”

The Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), based in Prince George, provided $20,000 for the initiative. The NDIT provides similar funding for communities across the North.

“The Business Façade Improvement Program is an excellent way for local governments and local businesses to work together to not only enhance their downtown, but also build confidence and pride within the community,” said Joel McKay, CEO, NDIT.

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About the Author: Seth Forward, Local Journalism Initiative

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