Facade initiative revitalizing downtown

Facade initiative revitalizing downtown
Mission EDC grants have rehabbed dozens of Conway Ave. storefronts

MISSION, TX – May 1, 2018 — The Mission Economic Development Corporation’s Downtown Facade Improvement Program has renovated dozens of dilapidated downtown buildings in a creative partnership with locally owned small businesses.

In the last five years, the Mission EDC has funded the refurbishment of more than 40 aging storefronts on Conway Avenue – the City of Mission’s primary street through downtown. The Downtown Facade
Improvement Program has enhanced the curb appeal of photo studios, barbershops, insurance agencies, boot stores, pastry shops and other aging buildings along Conway Avenue.

The Downtown Facade Improvement Program recently awarded its 41st matching grant to a small business owner under the five-year-old program. The funding went toward the renovation of an empty building downtown, that now thanks to the grant, will get a renovated facade, and perhaps, a new tenant soon. Mission EDC CEO Alex Meade said that is a perfect example of how the program is supposed to work.

“Business expansion and creating jobs is part of our core mission here at the Mission EDC, and the Downtown Facade Improvement Program is doing exactly what it was meant to do,” said Meade. “The facade program is two-fold success for the community. We are not only investing thousands of dollars into the improvement of partner small businesses, but into the enhancement of downtown Mission.”

Although the Mission EDC provides grants of up to $10,000 to applicants who are located downtown, they must make a matching investment. However, they can also apply for a non-matching grant of up to $3,000. For additional help, downtown entrepreneurs can also apply for financial assistance through the Downtown Rent Subsidy Program, a separate Mission EDC initiative.

In September 2013, the Mission EDC Board and the Mission City Council agreed to set aside $100,000 from Mission EDC’s annual budget to create the Downtown Facade Improvement Program to encourage the upgrade of commercial buildings downtown and increase the area’s economic vitality.

There are two types of facade improvement grants: 1) a $10,000 matching grant and 2) a $3,000 non-matching grant. Grants will be awarded on a competitive first come first serve basis until all downtown facade improvement funds are exhausted for the respective fiscal year. Program funds are re-allocated annually.

In fiscal year 2014, the Facade Program’s first year, 14 downtown businesses received $33,124 in nonmatching grants and $35,612 in matching funds. Business owners, the recipient of those grants, then matched that funding with $35,612 of their own investment. Non-matching and matching grants can be applied for and awarded simultaneously.

All told, the program has disbursed $318,805 to 41 projects on Conway Avenue over five years, and local
business have invested an additional $214,480 of their own funds into building and storefront improvements. For more information: ameade@missionedc.com or 956.585.0040.

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