Warsaw gets ‘BIG’

Slusser

Warsaw has reopened monetary opportunities to local stores and property owners this year.

Town officials will return to awarding Business Improvement Grants (BIG) to applicants within the Enterprise Zone, which encompasses nearly all of Warsaw’s business districts.

After not being able to fund the incentive last year, the town will offer up to $1,000 to each applicant for the purpose of enhancing and beautifying his or her store front.

While Town Manager John Slusser said that a matching grant of $1,000 or less was “not a whole lot of money,” he said the monetary opportunities reflected the “attitude” of Warsaw.

“The town is behind the Main Street Program, it’s really behind local business and if it could give more money, it certainly would,” said Slusser. “It wants to do something to support and encourage our businesspeople.”

He added that even if the town could only assist with the enhancement of local businesses to a limited degree, it would still be providing store owners with an incentive to beautify their building.

“It gets the job done and it’s good for the business owner, which in turn is good for the town,” Slusser said.

The requirements for BIG opportunities list beautification and aesthetic appeal as the primary purpose. Business owners were unable to apply for general maintenance purposes alone.

The window for submitting applications closed Monday, May 6. A three-person committee, appointed by Mayor Mark Milstead, will rate the applications and issue all awards by Friday, May 31.

Slusser said the actual amount that each applicant will receive depends on the number of participants, as well as on the quality of the beautification efforts.

“One person may do a whole lot more than another person, so [the committee] may make some sort of relative judgment,” said Slusser.

All grant awards will be a part of the town’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year.

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 9:49 am