Increased grant amounts could increase biz downtown - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Increased grant amounts could increase biz downtown

By Len Kiese - bio | email

November 25, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The city of Albany is expanding a project to help downtown businesses get a facelift. Business owners can apply for grants to improve their facades.

Tuesday night, the Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority Board increased the amount of those grants from $5,000 to $50,000.

Downtown Manager Don Buie says downtown could lose businesses to newer, glossier shopping centers. He hopes business owners will take advantage of the $570,000 available to make changes.

"For us to effectively recruit businesses, and we have recruited some fantastic businesses thus far that will open their doors in '09, but to continue that recruitment effort we've got to be in the position where we can offer a product that has that glossed, finished look that everybody wants to move into," said Buie.

The ADICA board also approved moving forward with negotiations to buy three pieces of property downtown. One of them is the parking lot next to the Chamber of Commerce. Buie says developers have shown interest in that property.

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