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Facade program winners plan to improve their business.local news

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Winners of the Niagara County Facade Program have a plan for how to improve their business. The Facade program was launched by the county earlier this year with the goal of providing funding for local businesses to improve their buildings.

The program page on the Niagara County Industrial Development Authority website explains that the Façade program will help revitalize small businesses emerging from the Covid pandemic and help attract more investment to the area. increase. Countywide, 173 local businesses have been approved for the award. This can be up to $50,000 as a dollar-for-dollar match for what the company plans to invest in its own project.

One of the companies that received the certificate was Lockport’s Palace Theater. The palace’s director of marketing and communications, Lizzie Schlatz, said the theater has received $7,300 to help pay for the new front awning.

“Our shades have definitely seen better days and definitely need replacing,” says Schratz. “We are optimistic that beautifying the exterior of the building will improve the experience for our patrons when they visit us and help promote the downtown corridor where we are fortunate enough to live.”

The county is expected to match what the palace has already paid, bringing the total cost of the project to $14,600.

“We really appreciate the support the county has given us with this program,” Schratz said. “They were very helpful with the process and I really appreciate the help they provided.”

Robert Wendler, owner of Barker Truck Accessories, said he received up to $28,000 to maintain his building. Wendler said his building is already more than a century old, demonstrating he’s one of the facade program’s initiatives to preserve historic buildings. Projects he’s looking to fund to accomplish include showroom and window renovations, new signage installation, roof and gutter maintenance, driveway resurfacing, and site fence installation.

“The 100-plus-year-old building is starting to show its age,” says Wendler. “As with most of his 100+ year old buildings, it needs a bit of his TLC.”

In Olcott, Covey’s Cove owner Michael Rann said the county will issue a refund once the renovations are complete. He expects the necessary work to be done in the fall and could cost about $35,000. He wants to install a pergola on the restaurant’s patio, replace the staircase, install new windows, doors and lighting, and make the entire building more energy efficient.

“It’s all little things, but it really adds up,” he said.

Halls Apple Farm’s Bob Hall, who also received a certificate, said he hopes to use the funds from the program to help pay for a new roof for the barn.

The $5.2 million allocated to this program by Niagara County comes from funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The county originally designated him $3 million for the program, but due to growing interest, he added an additional $2.2 million. The application period for the program closed for him in May, and NCIDA’s website states that all funding has been designated.