by Lisa Tome
Businesses in Elkton have been going through money like water.
To make improvements in Elkton's downtown.
"I'm extremely pleased that our business owners and our property owners have applied for these grants. We went through $50,000 in less than three months. Hopefully, we'll be able to increase our amount," said Elkton Mayor Rob Alt.
As part of the celebration of Maryland's Economic Development Week, the Elkton Alliance recognized The Coffee Place and other businesses for participating in the Alliance's Residential and Commercial Facade Improvement program.
The owners of The Coffee Place, Dwight Hair and his granddaughter Brittany Schwartz were awarded $1,500 from the Alliance for exterior improvements, an awning, and new signage. With this award, the Alliance has used the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Community Legacy program to award $50,000 in less than three months to eight property and business owners in Elkton's designated Main Street Maryland district.
The facade improvement projects range from $500 to nearly $20,000 and include painting, signage, awnings, window repair, and exterior lighting. Since the program requires the property or business owner to contribute at least 50 percent toward the total project costs, these awards have leveraged $100,000 in improvements to buildings downtown.
In addition to The Coffee Place, the following property and/or business owners have also been awarded funds from the Alliance's facade improvement program: Gallery at 122, Sweets and Treats Bakery, LWC CRST, LLC, Sue's Quilt Studio, Crouse Brothers HVAC, the apartments at 142 West Main Street, and the historic Mitchell House. "If we did not have our Main Street Community in place and our Alliance in place this work would not have happened," said Alt.
"This is 100 percent why we do this," said Amy Seitz, from the Department of Housing and Community Development.
For fiscal year 2016, the Alliance has requested another $50,000 for their facade improvement program from DHCD. Although the funds have not yet been allocated, the Alliance has received almost $30,000 in requests for funds.