Essex Expanding Community Improvement Plan

More businesses will soon be able to take advantage of the Community Improvement Plan in Essex.

The town is expanding the boundaries for the plan while putting all available funds in one pot for all businesses to pull from. The CIP helps business owners with renovations by matching costs 50/50. 

Councillor Steve Bjorkman says money is available to Colchester businesses now as well.

"He had a CIP that was just for Essex Centre and a CIP that was just for Harrow Centre," says Bjorkman. "What we've had in the past, we've had more use in one area or more pick up in the other. So we decided to amalgamate those, put it as one pie and then also include Colchester."

Bjorkman says for the first time, Colchester businesses can apply for funding.

"Colchester is a growing community. They have an area down there that is specifically commercial. So those buildings will also be able to qualify for the CIP. I hope we get to use it down there. I hope people take advantage of it. It just gives our businesses more opportunity to improve themselves, improve their look and thereby improve our town.)

Essex began offering a CIP program to its businesses in 2012.