Hampton is offering a boost for business owners looking for snappier storefronts.
The town’s Storefront Improvement Program is in its third year and offers a matching grant for up to $5,000 in labour and material costs for renovations, according to an online posting. For larger projects, businesses can access a loan of up to $15,000 through a partnership with the Community Business Development Corporation.
According to Chris White, Hampton’s manager of tourism and economic development, with the costs of renovations going up, the program helps businesses make “further improvements” they may not have been able to make otherwise.
“A lot of our businesses are independent, mom & pop shops … (with) a lot of focus and attention on the products they provide, but they don’t always have the additional funds to do the storefront work they would like to do,” White said. “We thought this was a way we could offer a helping hand and help improve the overall landscape of the town.”
White said the program has benefitted 10 businesses in the two years since it launched. So far, one business has applied since applications opened Jan. 8.
“We’re excited to see what the volume might be,” she said.
White said as far as economic development in Hampton this year, she’s excited to see the storefront program and that talks are ongoing with potential new businesses.
“We’ve had some really incredible growth,” she said, saying the business community was “resilient” after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “They’ve rebounded from that and are moving forward, we’ve got some incredible programming and some expansions coming with existing businesses and new businesses we expect will be landing in the area in the year.”
White noted that the grant is available to businesses throughout Hampton, including urban and rural areas. Applications are open until March 7, and interested businesses can email email@example.com.
By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jan 14, 2024 at 07:00