The Southwest Area Economic Development Corporation or EDC approved the Business Improvement Grant or BIG with $20,000 in available funds to help local businesses and start-ups.
The grant was meant to encourage improvements to commercial facades and improve economic opportunity in Altus. Applications were accepted through Jan. 13.
After considering the applications received, the EDC decided to split the grant money among a few of those who applied.
The recipients include Belles and Beaux at 116 N. Main St. with $5,000, Smalts Furniture at 121 N. Hudson St. with $500, Yellow Rose Firing Range at 113 S. Main St. with $3,500, White Buffalo Coffee Bar at 1200 Falcon Road with $6,000 and Hurst Brothers and Jam Construction with $5,000 toward a startup project.
“The committee had a very difficult time deciding how to allocate the grant money because there were so many worthy projects,” Brian Bush said. “But they felt it was a great sign for the community that so many projects were being considered.”
Grant recipients have been notified of the award and are currently reworking planned projects and budgets to accommodate the respective amounts, according to the EDC.
After the new plans and budgets are approved by the EDC, costs are slated to be reimbursed up to the amount of the grant award once the work is complete.
Work to be reimbursed under the grant must be completed by May 31, and a grant report showing how the funds have been used must be submitted by June 30, according to the EDC.
“The grant recipients represent an excellent mix of both longtime Altus business people as well as newcomers who are doing exciting things in the community,” Bush said. “All of these projects will have the potential to improve Altus landmarks as well as help occupy previously vacant buildings in some cases.”
The EDC is slated to consider the budget for the next fiscal year and determine if the Business Improvement Grant can be offered again and how much money can be allocated toward it, according to the board.
“The committee plans to recommend continuing the BIG program and increasing the total amount of money in the program if possible,” Bush said. “Above all, we believe the Business Improvement Grant program met its goal of sparking development within the community that will lead to increased property values and job creation.”
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.