JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA) has opened the application process for a Façade Improvement Grant. The grant funding would allow businesses to make improvements to the outside storefront of their building.
Businesses located in specific downtown areas are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in funding, depending on the project. Executive Director of the JCDA Patricia Oldham said they want to increase economic growth in the city with facade improvements.
“There are lots of ways to make our downtown look inviting,” said Oldham. “It invites customers, but it also invites investment and so more people are going to be interested in doing more things. There’s a domino effect.”
Some businesses downtown were not aware of the grant but told News Channel 11 that they would benefit from the funding.
Burt Kordamiri, the owner of Italian Pizza Pub on West Walnut Street, is one establishment that just learned about the funding.
“I might redo the patio and do more painting,” said Kordamiri.
One local business has already utilized the Façade Improvement grant in the past, and she said it made a big difference.
Laura Altizer is the owner of Bang Hair Salon downtown, and she was able to restore and repaint one of the walls on the side of her building.
“The backside of my business, [the funding] was to address the pointing and sealing of the brick,” said Altizer. “Addressing the primer in the paint, and making sure that all the caps on the building were secure and re-reconstructed.”
Altizer said she plans to apply for the grant again to make improvements to the other side of the building, such as replacing the front awning.
“The beautifying and the structure appeal, I think is always going to be attractive,” said Altizer. “If it’s attractive to the eye, then people want to see more of what’s inside, but it certainly is great curb appeal.”
Oldham said she encourages businesses to apply for the grant and reach out to the city for help on any needed projects.