The City of Hawthorne launched on Monday its Facade Grant Program that lends local businesses up to $4,000 for improvements if their application gets approved.
The application window lasts until Feb. 23, and the Hawthorne Community Redevelopment Agency heads the program.
The program has a $30,000 pot to distribute, and Hawthorne Administrative Assistant Anthony “Rei” Hulse said the city would like to invest all of it.
During the 2021 program, Hawthorne budgeted $25,000 for the program and ended up awarding $24,622.77 to seven winners.
“With the small towns, it’s kinda difficult to show change or forward motion,” Hulse said. “So different things like this definitely help.”
He said residents and visitors will be able to see enhancements to the area and know the city is moving forward.
Business and property owners within the reinvestment area—located along U.S. Highway 301, SE 20th Terrace, SE 221 Street and other downtown roads—can use the funds to finance aesthetic and practical improvements.
The grant covers installing bike racks, signage, landscaping, exterior painting, awnings and other facade upgrades.
Hulse said owners whose property lies a little outside the area or want to tackle a project not explicitly mentioned on the approved list should still apply. Depending on the number of applicants and what the project involves, the city might have room to work.
The applications could also guide any future projects the city has.
All submissions are graded on a point system. Different improvements receive different point values, and the process prioritizes applicants who have never received a grant through the program―Hawthorne has opened the Facade Grant Program for many years.
The grant sets a timeframe for the work to be completed by Aug. 31, 2022. The Community Redevelopment Agency also provides design consultation for applicants.
More information on approved uses for the funds and guidelines are available at the City of Hawthorne’s website along with the grant application.