Only two facade improvement grant projects were completed in Quesnel in 2021, despite five projects receiving approval for funding.
The city’s planning technician, Lyndon Hunter, presented the numbers to Quesnel council during their Tuesday, March 1 meeting, noting that while plenty of businesses applied, successful projects ran into construction problems.
Only Long Table Grocery and Ashley Home Furniture completed projects in 2021.
Long Table, located in West Quesnel used the funds to install a mural on the side of their building featuring Cariboo wildlife and Ashley, located in South Quesnel completely revamped their front signage. The grant is run by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, and can award up to $20,000 to municipalities to give to businesses to improve their outdoor presentation.
The two completed projects only amounted to just under $8,000.
The city is now accepting applications for the 2022 year, with a further $20,000 available, up to $5,000 per project. The grant covers 50 per cent of the cost of a proposed improvement to a business or non-profit’s facade.
Organizations can get funding for signs, new exterior lighting, patios and decks, accessibility improvements, new siding, awnings, architectural detailing, and even windows and doorways if part of larger improvements. The overall project must cost at least $2,000.
Over the past nine years, 32 businesses have completed projects using the fund, with the vast majority of them located in downtown Quesnel.