Façade fever: Craig businesses spruce up storefronts with grant program
A handful of small businesses in Craig are getting a serious facelift with the help of a new matching grant program that aims to spruce up businesses downtown.
Craig City Manager Peter Brixius said the city’s economic development committee awarded nearly $50,000 to five local businesses.
Eyecare Specialties on Pershing Street took $15,000, as did the Victory Building on the corner of Yampa Avenue and Victory Way.
Action Services, Inc. on Mack Lane received $7,500, while Just Dance LLC on East Victory Way was awarded $5,500.
The shared building of Downtown Books and Sundrop Custom Framing on Yampa Avenue received $6,900.
Each grant must be matched by the business and must be used for façade or capital improvements, among other requirements.
While Brixius helped spearhead the rollout and implementation of the city’s new grant program, he credited Craig City Council and its economic development committee, among others.
“I don’t wanna take full credit for that,” Brixius said.
Pam Young’s Sundrop Custom Framing was perhaps the first to begin work on their façade Monday. As a crew worked Wednesday laying fresh stucco on the façade she shares with Downtown Books, Young said it was a hard decision at first to invest more in a building she’s close to paying off entirely.
“Then you kinda see what’s going on across the street at the brewery and I thought it would be nice to keep that momentum going,” Young said Wednesday of construction crews who are close to finishing Yampa Valley Brewing’s Barrel Cathedral.
Young’s façade was completely torn off and replaced as part of the project, which also includes upgrades to the side of her building.
“We’re getting a lot of bang for our buck,” Young said.
Young’s frame shop is small and simple, unassuming compared to the glitzy frames that cover almost every empty spot on her walls. She said without the city’s matching grant, she would have been unable to afford such improvements.
“We’re not wealthy business people,” Young said.
Young said she’s glad to contribute to the city’s beautification.
“We’re glad to contribute to that and help beautify the town and give back, help revamp business a little bit,” she said. “The bookstore has been here probably as long as I’ve been. So it’s two businesses that get a new look.”
Brixius said there’s a possibility “in the very near future” they will ask for additional funds for the city’s new business grant program as Craig’s façade fever continues to spread.
“I think if everybody sees each other making those efforts, it’s going to bring some confidence to others in the business community and hopefully we’ll see some more of it,” Brixius said.
In an effort to make coal more competitive against natural gas and renewable energy sources, two of the nation’s largest coal companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, have announced that they plan to combine assets in Colorado and Wyoming. Routt County’s Twentymile Mine would be managed under the new joint venture.