New or expanding businesses within Ararat Rural City can apply for funds to spruce up their shop fronts, with the Facade Grants scheme now open.
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Valued at up to $10,000 on a $2:1 basis, the Facade Grant offers local businesses the ability to maintain the region's great heritage buildings and to refresh their stores.
Ararat Rural City Council Chief Executive Dr Tim Harrison said Council had supported more than 50 local businesses with their facade enhancements since the grants scheme started, as part of an effort to improve street appeal and support those looking to open a new or expand their existing business.
"From the outset, the council has been committed to improving our recreation, tourism, and streetscapes to transform our town into a welcoming regional hub," Dr Harrison said.
"Making our rural city a pleasant place to be encourages foot traffic, and marketability of the area to attract further business investment.
"It's encouraging to see Ararat CBD continue to grow with businesses expanding and emerging, attracting more folks to come visit, shop, and enjoy what our town has to offer."
Ararat local Tom Louder identified the opportunity to open a new barber shop in Ararat, recognising the support in place to get off the ground and running.
"Being a local boy growing up in Ararat, and always wanting to operate my own barber shop I could not have thought about doing it anywhere else but in my hometown where the support is fantastic," he said.
"The thought of opening my own business was originally very daunting but exciting at the same time, speaking to staff from Ararat Rural City Council made the formal part very easy.
"While speaking with the council, they mentioned that the council was running a grant to assist with making the Facade of shops get updated, so I could apply with signage for my shop, B.A.M Barbers.
"The process of applying for the grant was very easy and the form was quick to complete. I would recommend the grant scheme to anyone operating in the main street that wanted to update the facade of their building."
All Applications will be accessed by an internal panel from the Ararat Rural City Council.
Businesses interested in applying for the Ararat Rural City Facade Grants Scheme can visit www.ararat.vic.gov.au or call (03) 5355 0200.
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