Denver businesses on East and West Colfax Avenue will be getting new coats of paint, windows and exterior lighting with grant support from The Fax Partnership and West Colfax Business Improvement District in 2013.
The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) awarded both organizations approximately $30,000 each in matching grants, to help businesses improve street appeal, pedestrian experience and safety. In addition, up to $100,000 in loan funds will be offered by the Mile High Community Loan Fund for property owners undertaking larger projects.
“Helping our small, locally-owned businesses succeed is a key part of the city’s economic development strategy,” said OED Executive Director Paul Washington. “We’re proud to support façade improvements that further enhance the vitality and character of our Colfax corridor.”
The grant funds are made possible through the city’s Community Development Block Grant federal funding.
“This investment reflects the City of Denver’s commitment to Colfax as its Main Street and laboratory for what works in economic development,” says Dan Shah, director of the West Colfax BID.
Last year’s pilot façade program with the FAX Partnership has shown that “little improvements add up,” says Hilarie Portell, the executive director. “Small business owners are slowly recovering from the recession, and many want to fix up their buildings. These grants help offset their costs and in some cases have incentivized larger projects.”
Examples of 2012 façade grants include:
Grant funding from the OED to the FAX Partnership in 2012 leveraged approximately $80,000 in private investment by the businesses. With this year’s grant support, the two organizations anticipate leveraging $100,000 each in investment by businesses.
“We look forward to working with Colfax property and business owners and the Colfax BIDs in leveraging these grant funds to make property improvements that attract customers and strengthen their businesses,” said Jeff Seifried, executive director of the Mile High Community Loan Fund. “We’re a customer-focused lender and our staff is eager to discuss façade projects and our loan terms with Colfax businesspeople.”
The façade improvement grants are available to eligible business owners and property owners located on Colfax Ave., between Colorado Blvd. and Yosemite St., and between Federal and Sheridan Blvd. For more information, including application process and materials, visit the FAX Partnership and the West Colfax BID online at www.thefaxdenver.com and www.westcolfaxbid.org.