Lacombe wants its downtown to put its best face forward.
City council recently amended its Land Use Bylaw to move ahead with its Downtown Storefront Enhancement Program.
Coun. Bill McQuesten said the program for the city’s commercial hub has been in the works for a while so people were probably waiting for it to be put in place.
“People have wonderful ideas about what could happen down there. I think it will be exciting to see what people come up with,” McQuesten said.
The new program was developed to encourage and provide businesses in the Old Town Main Street District with an opportunity to invest in facade renovations and some interior upgrades through a grant and low-interest loan.
Applicants can apply for a maximum $2,000 grant and an $8,000 loan.
Appearance improvements could include exposing unique architectural details hidden by previous attempts to modernize the facade; co-ordinating facade improvements with neighbouring buildings and the character of the Old Town Main Street District; connecting to pedestrians with clear glass and making use of window display areas; creating sidewalks or alleyways that are lively places filled with people; general cleanup; and artistic design.
Any business within the district may apply.
The city’s planning and development department will be consulted to ensure compliance with the city’s Land Use Bylaw and Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan.
The program will work with other revitalization initiatives to promote the viability of retail and commercial businesses, help building owners attract and retain tenants, make the city shopping streets more inviting and interesting places to work and shop, and build civic pride among the business community and citizens of Lacombe.
Community Futures East Parkland will perform the financial screening of applicants.
The City of Lacombe or Community Futures East Parkland will verify completed work through receipts and site visits.
For more information about the program, visit www.lacombe.ca/doing-business/community-economic-development/downtown-storefront-program.