by TaLeiza Calloway
Two local businesses recently received assistance from the St. Joseph Economic Development Authority to make improvements to their establishments.
EDA members awarded several architectural grants to Closet 2 Closet Thrift Store and one to Cone Castle May 23.
The St. Joseph Business District Facade Architectural grant program covers design and construction costs associated with improvements to property that are visible from a public right of way. The program provides a matching grant for qualifying projects.
Owners of Cone Castle applied for a BFA grant to assist with landscaping improvements to the restaurant’s site. St. Joseph City Council member and EDA member Dale Wick said the maximum matching award for the BFA program is up to $1,000. Applicants must spend at least $2,000 to get $1,000, Wick said. Cone Castle was awarded the maximum and will fund the rest of the landscaping improvements estimated at $3,000, according to city documents.
Closet 2 Closet received a $400 matching grant for the store’s new sign. The St. Joseph Action Group, a nonprofit organization that runs the thrift store in downtown St. Joseph, spent $400 on the sign that was created and hand-painted by local artist Bob McCoy. The recent vote from the EDA matches half of the cost through the grant program. St. Joseph Action Group member Margy Hughes said the EDA also agreed to award a BFA grant for $1,000 to assist in the purchase of brackets for flower baskets that will soon hang in the city’s downtown. The plan is to start hanging the baskets later this month.