Marble Falls EDC proposes program to help local businesses pay for improvements

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — Proposed economic development grants would give Marble Falls merchants as much as $5,000 to make improvements aimed at attracting more customers.

The Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. proposed implementing the Business Improvement Grants (BIG) program at its regular meeting June 5.

“It’s a reimbursement program,” EDC board President John Packer said. “An important part of economic development is not only to recruit new businesses but support our existing businesses, help them survive and grow.”

In 2012, EDC board members approved offering matching grants for business sign upgrades, repairs and improvements after the Marble Falls City Council passed a stricter sign ordinance, requiring upgrades to old, worn or broken storefront signs.

For the proposed BIG program, EDC board members will consider using $50,000 from recruitment and retention funds for the grants.

Business owners would apply, pay for the work on their property and then get a portion of it reimbursed.

If the program is approved, as many as 10 businesses within the Marble Falls city limits could be eligible for up to $5,000 each in the first 12 months of the program, Packer said.

“This is a way to take on a little bit of that cost,” he said.

Packer added the board will ask for input from local businesses during the July meeting.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for noon July 3 at city hall.

connie@thepicayune.com