Four of Jay businesses receive grants

$17,000 grant will help local businesses upgrade and revitalise their store fronts downtown

Four Jay businesses out of 11 small businesses throughout Santa Rosa County were awarded grants of up to $5,000 each for facade improvements and signage by the Board of County Commissioners Monday, June 24.

Duramed Southeast and Endless Delights will receive grants of $5,000 each. Newberry Enterprises and Scott's on Highway 4 will receive $3,500 each. A total of $17,000 was awarded to those four businesses in the town of Jay.

The Strive Grant Program was implemented in January 2019 to provide $50,000 initially to upgrade the appearance of property, increase property value and stimulate economic activity within the county.

A total of 30 applications from 15 businesses were submitted requesting more than $93,000. The Town of Jay assisted local business owners with 13 applications as a component of the town's economic development strategy. All applications were compliant with program requirements.

The funds utilized are the economic development portion of electric franchise fee funds.

"We're excited to have the additional money come in to help the small business owners to improve their store fronts," said Operations Manager Eric Seib. "It helps them with their costs of revitalizing their store fronts."

Seib said the grant money will be used for new signs, awnings and windows at the businesses.

"It will fix up the Highway 4 and Commerce Street area nicely," he said.

"From the town's stand point, we're excited about the opportunity to assist the business owners, with the funding," said Jay Mayor Shon Owens. "We can update their facade. It's a fantastic opportunity for them. We're lucky enough in the town to have administrators who can facilitate opportunities like this."

The next round of funding opportunity will come this fall and Owens and Seib are hoping more Jay business owners will respond and work with them to apply for these Strive grants to upgrade or improve their business' facades.

"Once business owners see the plan in action, they will have a better clarification of the opportunity that is there," said Owens. "I think they will help us proceed in time to help them get these grants."

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