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Town of Smithers applies for 2023 Storefront Spruceup funding

The Town of Smithers is once again applying for funding to improve local business storefronts.

At their Nov. 22 meeting, Council voted unanimously to approve the Town’s application to Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) for a 2023 grant of up to $10,000.

The funds will go to Smithers own “Storefront Spruceup” program.

Director of development services Mike Allen explained to council that while in the past the Town could apply for up to $20,000 in recent years funds had gone unused.

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According to the report to staff, applicants who have not utilized over 50 per cent of approved funding in the last two years can either apply to the NDIT for up to $10,000 or submit “supporting evidence of full program subscription to apply for the maximum $20,000”.

“We felt it was just realistic to apply for the $10,000 at this point,” said Allen, adding that the Town still has the option to apply for an additional $10,000 in funding if they see an uptick in program usage at the start of the new year.

Any businesses located in downtown Smithers according to the Official Community Plan can apply, provided they are operational and not government-owned.

In 2022 the Town only had one applicant apply for funding, to the tune of approximately $2,935.

Councillors at the meeting expressed hope that in lieu of COVID-19 restrictions the program would be better-received in 2023.

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“I think the message to the community is this is money that’s been set aside … this isn’t taxpayer dollars, the money is out there, apply for it if you’re doing anything,” said Councillor Frank Wray during the meeting.

The deadline to apply is June 3, 2023.

For more info, you can pick up an application at Town Hall or the Town’s website.

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