Business owners looking to spruce up their buildings will soon be able to do so with a financial helping hand, as the Village of Westbury has allocated funds from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant to assist new and existing downtown business and property owners.
Using $600,000 of DRI grant funding, the village and BID will help business owners looking to improve the exterior or interiors of their properties. The program mirrors a similar façade improvement program the village underwent about 14 years ago; however, this new offering includes interior fit-outs and rear facades.
“We’re optimistic it’s going to have an impact and be complimentary to other projects we’re going to be doing in the near future,” said village mayor Peter Cavallaro. “We’re hoping property owners take advantage of it. It’s a substantial subsidy to do improvements that people might have been thinking about making or couldn’t afford. Now they can do it for half the amount.”
The BID will match up to 50 percent, with a $25,000 cap, of what a business spends on improvements to their rear or front facades, or to their interiors. The program is open to essentially any business in the village, including those on Post, Maple, Union and Railroad Avenues.
The program will have certain parameters, but business owners can choose for themselves what they want their facades or interiors to look like. The village will also waive or do a partial waiver of permit fees.
The village and Westbury BID will be hosting two informational grant sessions for business owners looking to find out more about the program on Feb. 15 and Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.
“We want to get as many property and business owners there to hear about the free money available,” said Cavallaro. “We’ll have a couple of lenders who make small business loans [available] so they can talk to some of the owners, if they want to talk about borrowing the piece they have to contribute. We want to make it as easy as possible for the people who want to participate.”