Better first impressions

Published 10:38 pm Saturday, January 17, 2009

Drive around Suffolk and you’re bound to notice some businesses whose faade, fencing or signage could use an upgrade. For whatever reason, whether it be money or motivation, many businesses within our city have opted out of dressing up the first thing their customers see – their storefronts and property.

The Economic Development Authority has had a grant program in place for a long time, which was set up to help improve the look of businesses in downtown and in the villages. However, at a recent EDA meeting, the authority approved an expansion of the faade grant program, opening up the door for businesses outside the already-established zones.

As a result, hundreds of more businesses are now eligible for the grants. The grants are intended to aid in upgrading facades, fencing, signage, awnings and other improvements. The only catch is that the building owners must be up-to-date on their taxes to be eligible for the grants, which go up to $10,000.

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Whether businesses are seeking to please existing customers or to attract new ones, having a first-class building and property makes them much more inviting. Suffolk business owners should take advantage of the grant opportunities afforded by the EDA. Doing so could make the first impression a positive one.