Businesses encouraged to apply for shopfront spruce-up

Businesses encouraged to apply for shopfront spruce-up

Business owners in Ararat Rural City CBD are encouraged to act quickly and apply for cash grants to help spruce up their property facades and streetscapes.

Council chief executive, Dr Tim Harrison said he is encouraged to see a positive response from building owners and operators for the latest round of the Façade Grant program.

“We’ve received a lot of interest for this round and business owners should get in quickly if they’re thinking of applying for a grant,” Dr Harrison said.

“Council established the Façade Grants program to help local businesses invest in façade renovations and improve the streetscape and appeal of their properties.

“The funds can be used to renovate the exterior of the building — from painting, improved signage, window treatments to structural repairs.

“There are some great outcomes where property owners have invested in maintaining the original façade of their buildings or carried out a makeover due to a rebrand.

“Walking down Barkly Street, it’s easy to see the program has enhanced the look of our streetscape, bringing attention to our local businesses.”

Owner of Ararat Kitchens and Joinery Benjamin Hargreaves freshened up his shop under the council’s Façade Grants scheme last year.

“The exterior of the showroom looked tired and weathered; I felt improving the façade would make it more inviting for customers, keep our business going and keep the building in good repair for years to come.

“We were looking to change our logo and the opportunity to apply for a grant came up — it all came together at the time,” Mr Hargreaves said.

“The grant enabled us to refresh our store at a reduced cost. We removed old signage and installed a new one, added spouting to prevent future water damage, repainted parking lines in the carpark, and also gave the building a fresh coat of paint.

“I’m happy with the way it turned out — the response from the community has been positive; everyone says it looks pretty good.”

Valued at up to $5,000 on a 1:1 contribution basis, the Façade Grants will help local businesses restore the town’s incredible heritage buildings and refresh their stores.

Applications will close on 30 September 2021. For full details including guidelines and an application form, visit Council’s website www.ararat.vic.gov.au.

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