Community Improvement Plan Gathering Steam In Essex

Essex businesses are taking advantage of facade improvement incentives.

Economic Development Officer Nelson Silveira says the Community Improvement Plan has seen a huge jump in those taking advantage of the program.

Improvements benefit the business owner and the town, according to Silveira who presented an update to council this week.

He says freshening the facade of the building improves resale value, creates a more pleasant streetscape, and can draw more customers for local businesses.

The program paid out close to $72,000 in Essex in 2016, and $21,000 in Harrow, that jumped to $173,000 and $72,000 in 2017 respectively.

"From 2016 to 2017, a 140% increase in Essex and a more than 200% increase in Harrow. Whether it's a new business coming in or an existing business, it's good to know that there's money available for them to improve the facade of their business," says Silveira.

With the success of the program in Essex and Harrow, Silveira says the town plans to expand the program soon.

Successful applicants could have up to 50% of their facade renovation expenses reimbursed by the town.

The program started in 2013.