RQM facade improvement funds available on a first-come, first-served basis

by Kevin Mcbain

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

With some dollars left in the pot, the Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) is extending the deadline for its 2020-2021 program aimed at improving the curb appeal of businesses.

The application deadline for the 2020-2021 program was set to close June 30th, however it was expanded on a first-come, first-served basis until the budgeted funds are depleted.

"We're very pleased that we've had a good uptake on our façade program, because it's beneficial to all businesses within the region," said RQM Mayor David Dagley. "We have, at this point, enough money for one or two more applicants, and I think it's important that we utilize these funds," the mayor said last week.

More than $57,000 was invested in the program by RQM in its first two years, which helped fund 14 projects worth more than $170,000.

This year's budget set aside $25,000 for the program.

Funding support is up to 50 per cent of eligible costs on a project, net of HST, and up to a maximum contribution of $5,000 per project. This is subject to the satisfactory completion of the approved work.

Money may be used to upgrade almost anything that strengthens the curbside appeal of a business, from siding to window replacement, to signage and planters.

As part of the RQM's plans to revitalize its downtown cores in Liverpool and Caledonia, council began allocating funds toward re-investing in its communities. In the first year, the region budgeted $25,000 and the Province of Nova Scotia chipped in another $15,000.

In the 2019-2020 budget, council agreed to invest a further $25,000, and widen the geographical scope to all commercial properties anywhere in the county.

More information on the program can be obtained by contacting Richard Lane, RQM Community Economic Development Coordinator, at 902-354-5741 or by email: rlane@regionofqueens.com

"We are expecting the balance of money that is there won't last long," said Dagley.

"I would encourage anyone who wants to do some improvement, and cost-share with us, to get in touch with us as soon as possible," the mayor said.

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