The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Business beautification funding returns

MainStreet brings back Facade Grant Improvement Program.


February 12, 2017

Alisa Boswell

Portales MainStreet Executive Director Sandy Vigil looks over the Pebsworth Insurance building with Owner Todd Pebsworth on Monday. Pebsworth said he is looking into renovating the outside of his building, which MainStreet's Facade Grant Improvement Program partially reimburses.

Just like the people who set up businesses there, Portales MainStreet wants to liven up its downtown area, according to Executive Director Sandy Vigil.

"Portales MainStreet sees the value of having an attractive downtown," she said. "Our merchants also see the benefits of beautifying the downtown."

That's why the organization has once again brought back the Facade Grant Improvement Program, which provides MainStreet with grant money to be able to help three local businesses in the downtown area make improvements/renovations to the facade or face of their building.

Vigil said downtown businesses can apply for the grant by visiting MainStreet at the Yam Theatre on Main Street or by calling them at 575-226-3783. The application deadline is Feb. 28.

She said MainStreet will reimburse a business for 50 percent of their project costs for building improvements with $1,000 being the maximum the organization can reimburse a business.

"Portales MainStreet implements this program when funds are available," Vigil said, adding that MainStreet was also given the grant in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

"It's also initiative for our merchants to support other local merchants," she said.

Fitness and More Owner Justin Johnson said without MainStreet's help in 2013, they likely would not have been able to give their business a new paint job and sign as soon as they did.

"We had thought about renovating the building for a while. The paint was fading and the sign was older," Johnson said. "The grant definitely helped. We probably wouldn't have done it as soon had we not had the grant."

Johnson said the difference was definitely noticeable as well.

"We got quite a few comments, and we actually got the Faye and Harley Borden Award (from the chamber of commerce) the following year for that improvement," he said. "It definitely improved the look of our building. It was one of our better marketing investments. It's more visible when you pass. It definitely helped us out quite a bit."

Vigil said in 2013, $6,800 was reimbursed to merchants with total project costs of $21,000.

"It's a huge deal. A lot of our grant organizations are all about economic vitality," Vigil said. "To us, this increases shopping value downtown and property value downtown. And also, it puts money back into the community. Half the time, they (merchants) go with a business in town (for renovations), so that's money that's staying in the community and being spent here."


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