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How are those facade grants going?

It's been just over a year since we announced the recapitalization of the DMI facade grant program thanks to generous support from the Richland County Foundation and the Downtown License Plate Fund.

I thought this would be a good time to provide a brief update on the program and share some of what we've been up to.

In 2021, we were thrilled to approve 14 facade applications! These represent a total project cost of over $400K and a total grant allocation of almost $50K! These represented projects from very small signage grants to structural improvements to full building rehabs!

In addition, we are entering 2022 with 4 more applications to review at our next meeting! The word is spreading about the grants, and we are seeing property owners feeling more confident in their post covid futures and be willing to invest in the maintenance and design of their buildings. I'll be honest, launching an incentive program with project-based funding was a bit risky coming out of 2020. Would the property owners and businesses be interested in investing? Would we be able to find products, contractors, and employees to get the work completed? On the other hand, the post 2020 local economy provided a real opportunity to capitalize on our future growth and if not now, when?

While six of the projects have been completed, the remainder are all in process to be completed sometime this year depending on the application date. Providing incentives is an excellent way to assist in downtown development efforts and encourage owners to invest in upgrading their properties.

We are very happy with the results in 2021 and look forward to working on more projects and with even more downtown owners in 2022. For more information or to find applications, please visit or email me at


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