Business Beautification Program

Brooks Region Economic Development, along with Community Futures Chinook, is pleased to offer businesses in the Brooks Region an opportunity to receive a beautification loan and grant to enhance the appearance of a business.

Businesses can apply for up to $10,000 in funding of which 80% would be an interest free loan and 20% would be a grant. Successful applicants could receive up to an $8,000 loan and a $2,000 grant.

General Overview.

The purpose of this program is to encourage and provide Brooks Region businesses the opportunity to improve the appearance of their premises, utilizing grant dollars and interest free loans, to a maximum of $10,000.00 (maximum $2,000 grant and $8,000 interest-free loan per applicant). The Brooks Region will provide the grant funds and pay the interest on the loan and the loan will be provided by Community Futures Chinook. Any business within the defined boundaries of the City of Brooks, County of Newell, Town of Bassano and Villages of Duchess and Rosemary may apply.

Eligibility.

The program provides an incentive for local business owners to invest in façade renovations and interior upgrades.

Eligible improvements include:

  • Signage on the front of business locations
  • Restoration of exterior finishes and repainting
  • Repair or replacement of storefront windows and doors
  • Exterior lighting of the building and signage
  • Removal and disposal of broken signage and fixtures
  • Installation and design of awnings and signs
  • Interior window display areas and lighting
  • Removal of exterior materials that cover architectural details
  • New architectural details such as entryway features and cornices
  • Creation of new retail bays in an existing building
  • Addition of patio areas and permanent landscaping elements
  • Removal of barriers to access for people with disabilities and mobility challenges
  • Interior painting
  • Interior flooring (carpet, laminate, tile, hardwood)
  • Interior counters, shelving, light fixtures and display cases

The above list is not all-encompassing. Other improvements could be eligible if they meet the objectives of the program and comply with the applicable municipal development regulations.

Program Goals.

Successful projects will strive to make visible improvements to the appearance, curb appeal, design and function of a business by:

  • Adding curb appeal and variety at the sidewalk level, emphasizing active storefronts, orienting windows and doorways to the street.
  • Improving the interior view of shops and restaurants through the use of clear glass, and storefront designs that make use of window display areas.
  • Coordinating façade improvements with neighbouring buildings and the unique character of the local business area.
  • Undertaking general cleaning of the building exterior, repainting faded and peeling paint, repairing damaged areas of the façade, and restoring unique architectural features.

How the Program Works.

1. Brooks Region Economic Development, in partnership with Community Futures, is offering the program.
2. Community Futures will accept applications and perform the initial pre-screening including a credit check and review of financial statements.
3. Applications will be forwarded to the Brooks Region including project description, proof of proper permits and other verification. The Brooks Region will approve/decline the project.
4. Upon approval of the project and verification of the loan approval, Community Futures will disburse the project funds to the applicant.
5. Community Futures will work with recipients to confirm the completion of project work through provided receipts and site visits.

Get in Touch.

Anyone interested in the Business Beautification Program can talk to the Brooks Region Econpmic Development staff via email at ecdev@brooks.ca or by calling 403-362-3333.To apply for the program and receive loan eligibility information, contact Community Futures Chinook at 403-223-2984. Click here to download an application.

NewGrow 2021

NewGrow is a program aimed at supporting new and existing businesses in the Brooks Region. Businesses make a pitch to a panel of judges and compete for funding.

Grant Details

The funding is a grant (not a loan, and no matching funds are required) and is intended to break down barriers and stimulate business growth in the Region, hopefully leading towards better business retention and expansion.

The NewGrow program gives community entrepreneurs and innovators the opportunity to start up or expand a business or create a new product, service or invention through a business plan and public pitch competition. All participants who take part in NewGrow will have a chance to receive an award package including up to $10,000 in funding plus valuable business services, promotions and mentorship.

You can propose any type of business, new product/service or business expansion/enhancement, as long as it meets a few simple requirements as listed in the NewGrow Program Parameters. 

Timelines for NewGrow 2021 TBD

Application available online - Late Summer 2021
Judges announced: Early Fall 2021
Application packages due: November 2021
Pitch night: December 2021

Based on feedback from previous years, some minor changes will be made to the Program Parameters and application process.  Details will be available for interested participants late summer 2021.

Questions?

For more information or if you have any questions, email ecdev@brooks.ca 

Blade Sign Program

Offering businesses an opportunity to add an attractive feature to storefronts.

Blade signage is primarily pedestrian-oriented. The size, lettering and placement of signs are, for the most part, designed to attract the attention of foot traffic. Signs are placed perpendicular on buildings or under canopies to alert pedestrians to the type of merchandise or service that the business provides. Ideally a blade sign will say Café or Ladies Boutique instead of a proprietorial name that does not convey what the business is about. For example: Instead of reading The Clothes Line, a blade sign would read Men’s Wear, Men’s Boutique or The Clothes Line - Men’s Wear/Boutique.

About the Program

The Brooks Region economic development team started the Blade Sign Program in 2019 prior to hosting Hockey Canada's National Junior A Championships. Businesses applied for the program and signs were placed in high traffic areas to make storefronts more attractive and help pedestrians find stores easier.

Check out the 2019 Blade Sign Program brochure

The program was so successful that not all businesses received signs. Due to demand, the program has been included in the 2021 economic development budget. Information will be available once the 2021 program is ready to roll-out.

For more information, contact Angela at adeblasio@brooks.ca or by calling 403-362-3333.