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The Carlsbad City Council, on December 8, approved the initial appropriation of funds for the implementation of the Village Storefront Improvement Grant Program.

The dollar-for-dollar grant program allots Carlsbad Village business owners a maximum of $15,000 for materials, equipment, and supplies used toward the enhancement of their storefronts.

The grant money will allow for improvements such as new signage, awnings, doors, windows, landscaping and paint. It also gives business owners access to a commercial storefront contractor that can help them determine the best and most cost-effective improvements to their store. Although the money cannot be used for labor costs, eligible businesses are expected to match the grant either with cash or through “sweat equity.”

“If all goes well, I hope they’re going to ask for more money because everyone is going to take advantage of this,” said council member Keith Blackburn during the council meeting.

The initial allocation for the project is $300,000, which is expected to pay for improvements to at least 16 Carlsbad Village business façades. Grants are expected to be awarded in early 2010. The program manual and application is available online: carlsbadca.gov/redevelopment

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