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EL DORADO -- Several downtown businesses will get a little sprucing up over the next few months with the help of more than $6,500 that was awarded through the 2019 Main Street El Dorado Mini-Grant Program.

Beth Brumley, executive director of Main Street, said eight businesses received mini-grants for the 2019 program.

The Main Street El Dorado Design Committee and Mark Miller, small-business consultant for Main Street Arkansas, sifted through the applications that were submitted by the Sept. 13 deadline and selected eight candidates, which were notified five days later.

Brumley said the grant recipients and their proposed projects will not be publicly announced until the projects are completed.

The projects must be completed by April 15.

At least one downtown business is using its award to install a new awning, Brumley said.

She previously issued a reminder that exterior projects that were approved for a mini-grant must be presented to the El Dorado Historic District Commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness before implementation.

A Certificate of Appropriateness is required for most exterior projects within the city's commercial historic district, which covers much of downtown El Dorado, so the historic commission can ensure the work fits within the design guidelines for the district.

Funding for the mini-grant program comes from revenue that is generated by Main Street El Dorado events and promotions and from a $15,000 Downtown Revitalization Grant that Main Street El Dorado received in June.

Downtown revitalization grants are awarded by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and funneled through Main Street Arkansas to 37 local Main Street programs and downtown communities that are part of the Main Street network around the state.

Earlier this year, Brumley explained the preservation program expanded the terms of the mini-grant program to cover interior improvements -- including painting, lighting, flooring and window treatments -- in addition to exterior projects.

"They can now also be used for interior work that will stay with the buildings, even if the owner of the building or the business moves on," Brumley said.

NW News on 10/21/2019

Print Headline: El Dorado businesses to get project grants

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