Thanks to Indiana Michigan Power leasing a space at the former Thomson Consumer Electronics facility, funds have become available for the Grant County Economic Growth Council to launch The CHARM Grant.
The CHARM Grant’s purpose is to make Grant County’s downtown spaces more “charming.” Projects may include awning replacements, façade improvements, occupying vacant store fronts, sidewalk repairs, paint jobs, etc.
The CHARM Grant will target projects that are small yet potent. The Economic Growth Council believes that each project (no matter how small) has the potential to significantly impact the business and the community at large. Just the sight of visible improvement — fresh paint color, more light, repaired awnings or sidewalks — can bring new life to a community and give community members something to believe in.
Steve Sapp, director of Marion Housing Authority, attests to the significant impact that “small” improvements can have on a community: Marion Housing Authority recently took possession of a building in downtown Marion, and upon possession, they decorated the building for Christmas, stringing bright lights beneath the awning and placing colorful Christmas trees in the window. Within just one day, Steve says, he received three new offers on this building — a building that had sat vacant for the past three years! “It’s amazing what happens when you just put lights on a building!” Steve exclaims.
The CHARM Grant, thus, will make it possible for businesses to “put lights on their buildings” — i.e. they will be able to make similar visible improvements that can have the same substantial impact.
President of the Growth Council, Brett Carey, celebrates the potential impact of The CHARM Grant on the local business community: “We think The CHARM Grant is an excellent opportunity for the Growth Council to assist the growth of local businesses,” Brett says.
Mayor Bob McNutt of Jonesboro is excited about The CHARM Grant: “I think The CHARM Grant is a good opportunity to help people have a positive impact,” he says.
The CHARM Grant is a $1000 matching grant that will roll on a quarterly schedule: March, June, September, and December. All local Grant County businesses are encouraged to apply, though businesses located in downtown areas as well as projects with higher visibility and community impact will be given priority.
Applications for The CHARM Grant can be found at: http://grantcounty.com/business/the-charmgrant/. The first cycle of The CHARM Grant will close on February 23rd, 2018, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 7th, 2018, at BYOC², a monthly networking event held the first Wednesday of every month at the Abbey Coffee Co.
The Economic Growth Council seeks to be a champion of local businesses and believes that The CHARM Grant will spur on new initiatives in the Grant County business community.
Grant County Economic Growth Council