Submitted by Judy Thompson
As a part of the Arkansas Downtown Network commitment, Mena Downtown Partners will be providing financial incentives for downtown property owners or tenants 1) to make exterior and/or interior improvements to existing downtown properties or 2) purchase banners or signage for their downtown business. Four matching fund grant awards up to $500 each will be made.
The purpose of this grant program is:
• To increase utilization of existing downtown buildings.
• To strengthen downtown business potential by retaining and attracting businesses.
• To restore the economic vitality of Mena’s downtown through increased sales,
promotion, services and valuation of property.
• To improve the aesthetics of the downtown district.
Projects to be considered must be within the boundaries of the downtown commercial district. The district includes the streets of Mena and De Queen from Port Arthur to Oak and all intersecting streets between De Queen and Mena from and including Port Arthur to Oak. Deadline for application submission is Friday, October 18, 2019. Applications and Guidelines may be picked up at American Artisans, Mitchell’s Computers, or Books & Stuf. The application form and guidelines will also be available on the Discover Downtown Facebook page; however, a paper copy must be submitted for consideration. These will be reimbursable grants that will be paid after the project is completed and paid invoices and proof of payment submitted.
Grant award recipients will be notified by November 8. All projects must be completed with appropriate paperwork, photos, etc. submitted to Mena Downtown Partners no later than June 1, 2020.
Rick Chrisman, president of the Downtown Partners, advises that this is another effort of the program to promote and revitalize downtown Mena. Chrisman notes that consulting experts from Main Street Arkansas have been meeting with interested downtown business or property owners regarding recommendations for building improvements.