Marietta Main Street Announced Next Round of Build Up Marietta Grant Program
While small businesses across the country are feeling the financial impact of the pandemic and adjusting to a new normal, many are also using this opportunity to improve their facilities and business model while they are closed to the public. To help businesses in downtown Marietta with improvement projects, Marietta Main Street launched its 2020 Build Up Marietta facade improvement grant program last week.
Historically, each round of Build Up Marietta has awarded a total of $3,000 to applicants, but thanks to the generosity of Heritage Ohio, the Ohio State General Assembly, and WV Central Federal Credit Union, a total of $21,000 is being awarded this year.
“Much of our mission is to leverage local, private investments into the care and maintenance of the places we love the most: downtown,” said Cristie Thomas, Interim Executive Director of Marietta Main Street. “These funds are a reflection of the $20,000 contribution from Heritage Ohio and of a generous $1,000 donation from WV Central Federal Credit Union during their year-end giving cycle of 2019.”
Since 2017, the Build Up Marietta program has awarded $12,000 to downtown building/business owners, leveraging an investment of over $54,000 in care and maintenance of historic downtown buildings. “For every $1 awarded, $22.16 was invested,” said Thomas.
Care for our historic downtown buildings goes a long, long way in driving our local economy.
Facade improvement has a domino effect in many ways, explained Thomas. When one property owner paints their facade or updates their sign it’s not uncommon to see other property owners follow suit in care of their own. “Civic pride and beautification go hand in hand; we want folks to feel welcome downtown and to invest their dollars in our downtown businesses, in our organization, and in our Marietta community,” she said. “Care for our historic downtown buildings goes a long, long way in driving our local economy.”
Downtown business/building owners are encouraged to apply for matching funds of up to $3,000, or 50% of a project. All funded projects must be in compliance with the Secretary of Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation.
Marietta Main Street hopes the Build Up Marietta grant program can help property owners and business owners make much-needed repairs and improvements without accruing debt. “This organization takes pride in working hand in hand with people to preserve the core of our community,” said Tim Glover, Board President for Marietta Main Street.
“Our mission is to bring people together to preserve, enhance, and enjoy our downtown – but I also feel as though it is our responsibility to protect our downtown,” said Glover. “We have been through floods and fires that have had a major impact on our town and we have survived. This new crisis is a hurdle that we have never encountered before, but like any barrier, we will overcome this and persevere.”
We truly hope this can be a stepping stone to help building and business owners continue striving for their goals despite the current setbacks of COVID-19.
Thomas admitted that at first, she was hesitant to announce this year’s Build Up Marietta program because she knew the struggles downtown business and building owners face right now. “But there’s no time like the present and we want our business and building owners to be able to maximize this time as much as they can,” she said. “With the opportunities presented by the SBA and their local lenders, as well as the ‘downtime’ each business/building owner might be struggling with right now, we truly hope this can be a stepping stone to help building and business owners continue striving for their goals despite the current setbacks of COVID-19.”
As part of the grant process, all Build Up Marietta applications are vetted by a jury. Applications are due to Marietta Main Street no later than June 1st, 2020. Applicants will be notified of their application status within (30) days. All projects must be funded and completed by December 1st, 2020.