Article By: Chris Hahn
Businesses in Grand Meadow Minnesota, will now be able to apply for financial assistance to repair, preserve, and update commercial properties within the city limits. A newly created Structure and Façade, Improvement Forgivable Loan Program sets aside a total amount of $45,000 that allows for external maintenance and repairs to existing commercial structures.
“Grand Meadow has some truly unique and historic commercial properties that have incredible potential for our community and businesses,” said Chris Hahn, the CEDA team member currently serving as EDA Director for City of Grand Meadow. “This is a matching funds program, where the EDA will match dollar for dollar up to the maximum loan amount upon project completion, and that match is forgivable over five years as providing the building does not change ownership.”
Businesses who qualify can apply for either a $5,000 or $10,000 matching loan. There are three available awards of $5,000 and three awards of $10,000. The program requires that at least 25% of total project funds (owner’s investment plus the EDA match) be used for street-facing, façade improvements such as windows, doors, entryways, etc. It also requires that street-facing façade improvements be completed in an “era-appropriate” manner, as Grand Meadow has a combination of both modern and historic properties.
“It is both a joy and an enormous challenge to restore the historic buildings in our rural community,” states Shawn Vogt Sween, owner of several historic commercial properties in Grand Meadow. “We are thankful the City of Grand Meadow is joining the effort by committing funds and attention to the issue of historic building preservation. Together, we’ll leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”
The Structure and Façade Improvement Forgivable Loan Program was created through a continued desire to invest back into the Grand Meadow community and offer a program that allows owners of historic & commercial properties to invest in space that facilitates small business and economic growth. This program’s funding comes from existing money set aside by the City of Grand Meadow for distribution by the Economic Development Authority for community investment and enrichment projects. The EDA will begin reviewing applications in January of 2021.