Big Lakes County awards business upgrade grants

Richard Froese

For the Lakeside Leader

Big Lakes County has awarded four business refurbishment grants to a community organization and three businesses to upgrade their facilities.

At its April 24 meeting, council approved $2,500 matching grants to the Enilda and District Society for Recreation and Culture (EDSRC), Faust General Store, Northern Alta Industrial Medical Services Inc. and Running Dream Equestrian.

The purpose of the program, council heard, is to provide county businesses a chance to invest in façade renovations, some interior upgrades and online presence upgrades. Five applications were received; one did not meet the requirements.

The Enilda society plans to build a 35-foot bulkhead at the Enilda Mud Bowl bowling alley, and patch several potholes in its parking lot.

Faust General Store wants to repair its roof, do a facelift to the building’s north side, paint a fuel tank and change interior lighting to LED.

Northern Alta plans to replace window panes and upgrade signs.

Running Dream Equestrian applied for funds to build a fence in the back half of its property, to make it functional and safe for horses and the community.

The upgrades are generally aimed at tackling some of the issues mentioned in a 2019 ‘visitor-friendly assessment,’ council heard from the county’s director of community and protective services Brett Hawken. The survey found that many business fronts needed upgrades to beautify them.

Hawken said the program works with other revitalization programs to build local community and civic pride among the business community and citizens, as well as promote the viability of businesses and help building owners attract and retain tenants and customers.

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