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Grant funding helps local businesses spruce up buildings

Downtown Tomorrow CIP funding going toward new Bee by the Sea location and owner of West St. building
2022-06-22-DTCIP
The most recent grant recipients for the first intake of the City of Orillia’s Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan grant program for 2022, are shown in front of 64 Front St. N., the new flagship location for Bee by the Sea. From left: Megan Lajoie (Bee by the Sea), Jeffrey Hopkins (owner of 20 West St. S.), Mayor Steve Clarke, and Sunita Jaipargas (Bee by the Sea).

NEWS RELEASE
CITY OF ORILLIA
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The City of Orillia has awarded $9,100 for two new projects through the first intake of the 2022 City of Orillia Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (CIP) grant program.

“The cumulative impact of the Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant program is being noticed by residents and visitors alike,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “Each and every project supported through this program adds vibrancy to our storefronts and plays an important role in the revitalization of our downtown.”

The first intake deadline of 2022, which closed on May 25, yielded two successful grant applications, each for façade improvements to accommodate new and expanded businesses.

Grants were awarded to two businesses located at:

64 Front St. N. — $4,137.50 (new location of Bee by the Sea)

Bee by the Sea is a local natural skin care company that currently distributes to more than 300 businesses across Canada and the United States and will make the location at 64 Front St. N. its flagship store. With help from grant funding through the Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant program, Bee by the Sea is improving the northwest and southwest façades by adding signage and awnings on each side of the building.

20 West St. S. — $5,000 (former location of Art’s Clothing and Men’s Workwear)

The new owner of 20 West St. S. plans to revitalize this property through improvements on both the front and rear façades to accommodate two businesses: the Orillia Hockey Academy Training Centre and Big Country MMA (mixed martial arts). Improvements include updating exterior lighting, new awnings, new business signage, and refacing the material on both the front and rear façades.

“This is a really good opportunity to put some much-needed funds into the façades to bring this property up to par with (Downtown Tomorrow) CIP standards, all while staying in line with that heritage feel,” said the owner of 20 West. St. S., Jeffrey Hopkins. “These grant funds make it much easier for businesses to grow.”

“This grant helped us to not only expedite our project timeline, but it also helped us to manage our costs — which is important for a small business. The support of the community and city staff makes us optimistic for our future here in Orillia,” said Sunita Jaipargas, sales and marketing manager for Bee by the Sea. “With the addition of retirees and GTA families moving north, it really is the ideal place to raise a family, and Orillia will only continue to grow.”

The Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant program continues to be a valuable program in supporting the acceleration, improvement and revitalization of properties in the city’s core. The addition of the Tier 3 programs, including the Development Charge Grant, Brownfields Tax Assistance Grant and Tax Increment Grant programs, has been very well received by property owners who have been contacted about their eligibility for this program (large underutilized and vacant properties in the core). As a result of these ongoing discussions, staff have added a third Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant program intake and have made the following amendments to the remaining 2022 intake deadlines:

  • Intake 2 — Aug.10, 2022, by noon will be reserved for Tier 1 and 2 programs only;
  • Intake 3 — Oct. 28, 2022, by noon for Tier 1, 2 and 3 programs.

In order to be eligible to apply for the Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant program, potential applicants must have taken part in a virtual community workshop or pre-consultation with the city’s business development office or Downtown Orillia Management Board (if their property is within the Downtown Business Improvement Area).

For more information on the Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant program, or to book a pre-consultation, contact the City of Orillia business development office at 705-325-4900 or visit orillia.ca/downtownCIP.

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