Northern Development board approves $400,000 in funding for business façade improvements

March 5, 2014

Building on the success of last year’s Business Façade Improvement program, twenty communities throughout central and northern B.C. have been approved for funding in 2014 to partner with locals businesses and spruce up storefronts.

The program, which was launched last year, provides up to $20,000 annually to municipalities and regional districts throughout the Trust’s service area in central and northern B.C.

The funding incents communities to partner with their local businesses to improve the look and feel of their commercial business storefronts.

The Business Façade Improvement program supports visual improvements such as façades, signage, murals, architectural features, siding, lighting and awnings in an effort to enhance economic viability and vibrancy in central and northern B.C. communities.

Northern Development’s board of directors, which consists of elected representatives and provincial appointees from across central and northern B.C., in February approved funding for 20 applications to the program.

The communities that will receive up to $20,000 Business Façade Improvement grants are:

Funding under the program remains available for municipalities and regional districts that have yet to apply in 2014.


[quote by=”Evan Saugstad” position=”Chair” company=”Northern Development Initiative Trust”]The fact that we approved applications for the business façade improvement program in 20 communities throughout the region already this year is a testament to the success of this program and the value that it adds to the communities we serve[/quote]

“We sincerely appreciate our relationship with Northern Development Initiative Trust and thank them for their continued investment in the north. We are extremely pleased that our grant application was successful once again and that we are able to provide this type of assistance to our local businesses,” said City of Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “I would encourage all eligible property and business owners to take advantage of this opportunity.”

“The City of Williams Lake is very appreciative to Northern Development for continuing to be a significant partner in enabling economic development programs in our community. The Business Façade Improvement Program is a great example of a practical investment that will benefit our commercial sector and the community at large by enhancing the appeal and visibility of local storefronts,” said City of Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook.

“Houston is pleased to have received $20,000 in funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust,” said District of Houston Mayor Bill Holmberg. “A healthy business area plays an important role in the vitality of a community and this funding will assist to accomplish that.”

“The District of Wells is pleased to be the recipient of a Northern Development Business Façade Improvement grant, which will help our local merchants spruce up the looks of their businesses.  These improvements make our small town more appealing to the thousands of visitors who pass through each year and it encourages them to stop and spend more time in the community,” said District of Wells Mayor Robin Sharpe.

“Northern Development’s facade improvement program has allowed local businesses to enhance Smithers’ downtown experience, which is among our community’s greatest economic assets. The feedback we received from participating business owners was entirely positive and we are looking forward to building on this program’s success in 2014,” said Town of Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach.

“I am very excited to see the Façade Improvement Program through Northern Development take shape in our community. I look forward to seeing not only the beautification of our community, but also the boost it will bring to local business and our downtown area,” said Village of Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold.

“Business retention as important as business attraction. Offering the façade program demonstrates our continuing commitment to our business community and we are very pleased that Northern Development has encouraged this opportunity,” said Village of Queen Charlotte Mayor Carol Kulesha.

“The Village of Telkwa is very excited that we have been awarded $20,000 through the façade program. This means Telkwa will be able to assist any business that wishes to upgrade their façade and improve the look of our downtown corridor thanks to the Northern Development program,” said Village of Telkwa Mayor Carman Graf.

“The Business Façade Improvement Program will be a great boost to our local businesses,” said District of 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall. “An appealing streetscape will attract customers to retail and commercial areas of town.  We are excited about this cooperative venture because façade improvements will enhance economic development in 100 Mile House.”

“The District of Chetwynd is excited about participating in the Businesses Façade Funding Program that is offered through Northern Development Initiative Trust for improvements in our community. We are very happy with the partnerships to follow with the businesses in our community,” said District of Chetwynd Mayor Merlin Nichols.

“The Village of Port Clements would like to thank Northern Development for their approval in funding for the Business Facade Improvement program.  This creative funding is a ladder to help our community reach higher for making our town a better place to live and grow,” said Village of Port Clements Mayor Wally Cheer.

“Prince George has leveraged Northern Development’s $20,000 façade program by partnering with the Downtown Business Improvement Association, which matched the funding,” said City of Prince George Mayor Shari Green. “We are already seeing a much-improved look to this vital part of our city, just in time to welcome the nation in 2015 for the Canada Winter Games.”

“The city is very thrilled about this opportunity to assist Dawson Creek’s downtown businesses with their efforts to upgrade their store fronts,” said City of Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead. “This funding just may provide a kick start for those businesses that may have already been thinking it’s time for a change.”

“Northern Development Initiative Trust has provided Fort Nelson/Northern Rockies and other northern communities with a variety of programs and funding opportunities.  We cannot thank Northern Development enough for their continued support in our community and we look forward to seeing the benefits of the Business Façade Improvement Program,” said Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Bill Streeper.

“The businesses of Fort St. James have the potential to benefit greatly from the business facade improvement program funded through Northern Development Initiative Trust. This program helps our community to build on the success of our downtown revitalization efforts and makes our community a more attractive and inviting place to shop, live, work and play.  Not only is it a boost to business owners, it provides a long-term visible impact to our town,” said District of Fort St. James Mayor Rob MacDougall.

“The Business Facade Improvement Program provides a key incentive to local businesses to enhance the appearance of Lytton’s downtown core. It greatly assists us in our Downtown Revitalization Program,” said Village of Lytton Mayor Jessoa Lightfoot.

“The Business Façade Improvement Program offered through Northern Development Initiative Trust will provide wonderful new opportunities for our downtown businesses to economically improve and update their storefronts. The flexibility of the program makes it accessible for any size of business and any budget. We are excited to watch our downtown become more inviting to residents and visitors alike,” said Village of Ashcroft Mayor Andy Anderson.

“Local business is a key part of small communities like Masset and the Business Facade Improvement  program is a great way to support local businesses who want to show pride in their community,” said Village of Masset Mayor Andrew Merilees

“This is a great program for residents and visitors alike, but it also sends an important message to building owners. That they are valued and that their role as landlords and businesses owners in a commercial district is a key part of our success as a community,” said Village of Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken

“The Business Façade Program is a great opportunity for businesses to enhance their facades through financial partnering. It improves the appearance of the town and helps businesses promote their goods and services,” said Village of McBride Mayor Mike Frazier

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