Article by: Mary Kennedy
Businesses in the City of Jackson now have the opportunity to take advantage of a financial assistance program which will help them improve their building facades! CEDA representative Tom Nelson has been working with the Jackson Business Development Committee (JBDC) to bring a Business Facade Improvement Program to the community.
Using other CEDA communities’ Commercial Building Exterior Improvement programs as guidance, Nelson wrote draft guidelines which would best suit Jackson businesses, and brought those to the JBDC for approval.
“The program is a part of the broader strategy to position Jackson as a day trip destination. It is meant to encourage business owners to improve the look of their buildings which not only affects their business as well as neighboring business and the community as a whole,” said Nelson.
The program, which is funded by the Jackson Economic Development Authority (EDA), and hosted by the JBDC, provides local businesses with a 1:1 matched forgivable loan, which is forgiven over five years. Since the program’s implementation only two months ago, three businesses have already applied and been approved for funding. The approved projects include the replacement of an awning at a local hair salon, a full renovation to the exterior of the former municipal liquor store, which was purchased by a new business owner, and the addition of steel siding and a fresh coat of paint to a highly visible business on Hwy 71.