Half a million dollars in funding to help kick start the Grande Prairie economy has been approved by members of city council. The $500,000 will be made available through a pair of grants geared at improving commercial properties in the city.
The bulk of it, $450,000, is going to the Downtown Incentives Program’s Patio Development Grant. Mayor Bill Given notes it’s a small program that has seen success in the past.
“It’s essentially modelled after our Downtown Incentives Program that leads to the redevelopment of the facades on downtown businesses. For every one the city invested in that program we saw about four dollars in economic activity happen.”
Given adds the funding not only gives a potential boost to the businesses, but it can also potentially lead to more jobs for local contractors.
“We saw this as a really great opportunity for those property owners who are interested and willing to partner with the city in upgrading their businesses and improving the general appearance of the community, and that is something that puts tradespeople to work immediately.”
The remaining $50,000 is earmarked for the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce’s “Get In the Loop” franchise, which is intended to be a digital marketing program for local businesses.