HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The following is a press release from the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association.
Mississippi Power and the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association (HHDA) are working together to award Downtown merchants with grant dollars for building exterior enhancements. Grants will be awarded up to $1,500 per selection. The deadline to apply has been extended to March 15, 2017.
"Our hope is that this program will encourage existing property owners and/or tenants to complete projects that have been on the backburner due to costs," said Andrea Saffle, HHDA Executive Director. "Whether it's replacing windows, repainting their store front, or getting a new sign, we feel like these grants will get the ball rolling in the right direction.”
According to Saffle, this is a strategic push for attracting more consumers and potential investors to Downtown Hattiesburg. “We know enhancing building exteriors can increase property values and improve the overall appearance of the community, thus helping us move forward with our vision of attracting consumers and businesses to Downtown Hattiesburg.”
The mission of HHDA is to drive the economic development of the Downtown area, while preserving the historic character of the district. For 2017, Mississippi Power is donating $10,000 to the association in hopes of sparking the development of new business to the area. The money will be split among projects that are located in Downtown or along the gateway corridors to Downtown.
"We’ve made applying and receiving grant dollars from the program very easy," said Saffle. "Businesses will receive the money beforehand instead of being reimbursed, and there is no required matching fund. We are minimizing the upfront cost to businesses, hoping it will motivate more businesses to apply."
Application eligibility includes:
New or existing business with a current business license, operating a retail business, restaurant, service company or offices.
Employ fewer than 50 people.
Located in the Downtown district or along the gateway corridors leading into Downtown.
Receiving power service from Mississippi Power Company.
Improvements to begin within 30 days of receipt of the grant payment and be completed within one year.
All applications should be submitted to HHDA either in person at 723 N. Main Street or by mail at P.O. Box 150, Hattiesburg, MS 39403. The grant committee will determine eligibility of all applicants, and its decisions will be final. The application can be accessed online at downtownhattiesburg.com/facade-mini-grant-application/