Grants and loans for Downtown Hawkinsville businesses
HAWKINSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Hawkinsville is the spirit of giving this holiday. The Downtown Development Authority is now accepting applications for downtown businesses to receive grants and loans.
Downtown Hawkinsville, is not what it once used to be, according to Irene Stone who grew up in the city.
“It was a booming little place,” said Stone. “Stores would just be bustling and all of them were filled with grocery stores, and clothing stores, and drug stores.”
As the years began to fade, so did the buildings.
“A lot of the front of the businesses have just been neglected over a few years,” said Chairman of the Downtown Development Authority, Ken Clark. “We started giving out grants at first this year, we gave out over 28 grants, totaling $52,000.”
In January, they’ll be giving about ten more. Totaling $22,000 in grants and loans. The money would be so business can renovate the facade. Eligible projects would include, painting, cleaning, awnings, signs, and other displays.
“I like to see buildings come back to life and be what they are meant to be,” said Stone.
Once the grant is given, business owners meet with Stone.
“I would do a sort of sketch painting, and pick colors if they wanted it painted,” said Stone. “I try to keep the buildings historically kind of accurate to what they were when they were built.”
“It was fantastic, we were able to have four signs done,” Business owner Marsha Wright said.
Wright was one of the many to receive a grant back in May.
“It was great for the city of Hawkinsville,” said Wright.
Grant by grant, the city hopes to restore downtown.
Downtown design guidelines and applications can be found at www.Hawkinsville-Pulaski.org. You can also contact Donna Rickerson of the Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce at (478) 783-1717.