A program aimed at stimulating investment in private property throughout Brant County is currently making a difference in St George. With the help of a grant provided by the Community Improvement Plan, one downtown business is undergoing an extensive facelift.
The Community Improvement Plan is a province-wide initiative used as a tool to stimulate the revitalize areas of the community through programs, grants and incentives. The plan has been in place for the past three years in Brant County and the results are beginning to appear.
“So far to date, we’ve had six approved for downtown Burford, two approved for downtown St. George and four approved for downtown Paris.”
Heather Madden, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, County of Brant
One program offered under the plan, provides a fifty percent grant for the cost of façade improvements, to a maximum of $7500. The latest recipient of that grant is the Main Gift and Decor store in St. George.
“When I initially heard about the program, it was very intriguing to me. It was a program that really fit with what we wanted to do here because it would have still been years as a property owner as well. It takes so much time to align your financing or save for that ‘rainy day’ or that big project that you’re hoping to accomplish. Coming down here every day to my shop, I would see that it definitely needed work but it was just one of those things that I just always wanted to have done.”
Shirley Shantz, Owner, Main Gift and Decor
Shantz says, the total contract amount is just under $9500, so even with the portion of the expense covered by the grant, the project is a lot of expense, but very worthwhile to have done.
“We strapped up out top and insulated which helps level the wall because the plywood that was up there had really started to warp. So levelled everything and then put on faux stone. This product is nice because it’s nice and light, so mounting it and the security of it is very safe to have up high. There’s no risk factor of anything blowing off or breaking. In the very top, we did some vinyl board and baton which tied the stone and everything to the entire building. Down lower, we carried the stone down the side and then we’ll have the foundation done soon once we get some nicer weather and then some painting in the spring.”
Jeremy Emberley, Emberley Contracting
The county is encouraging other business owners interested in taking advantage of the program to get in touch. Further information about the Community Improvement Plan is available and on the County of Brant website.