Façade grants create boost for some Biloxi businesses

Most businesses need a boost now more than ever and there’s good news for some businesses in Biloxi. Some local business owners will soon get help dressing up their stores in the Biloxi Main Street District.

Marley Roberts is a young entrepreneur. The 19-year-old’s passion for music led him to open Marley’s Music in the historic brick building in Biloxi’s Main Street District earlier this year, but COVID forced the business to shut down just three days after opening.

Like other businesses, Marley’s Music is up and running and with the reopenings, city businesses need curb appeal now more than ever to reel back in customers. “Something we have talked about but haven’t really gone for yet is a tye-dye mural. We think it would really help us stand out and it fits.”

Back in February, we covered the addition of 10 new murals in Biloxi’s Main Street area. Thanks to the façade grants now available for Biloxi Main Street businesses, business owners can get a helping hand making this historic area even more vibrant.  Biloxi Main Street’s Economic Vitality Chairman Bobby Gillon said, “The Biloxi Main Street facade grants are part of an incentive program funded by Mississippi Power. It is a program intended to help make it a little bit more affordable for business owners or property owners to improve the exterior of their business with signage or cleaning up, whatever work needs to be done.”

Gillon sees these grants as a way to give back to businesses that have occupied and invested in older buildings in this historic part of town, money that can be used to bring more new life in the area.  “We absolutely hope to get more murals. We have plenty slated for the next couple of months.”

This façade grant can be applied to expenses for many different enhancements. Kait Sukiennik is co-owner of the Greenhouse in Biloxi, a coffee shop next door to Marley’s Music. She plans to apply for a façade grant and to pour the money into tastefully dressing up the Greenhouse. “We do live in an old building so we don’t want to take away from that character. We just want to put a little paint on it, change our awning and maybe get a new sign that is more attractive and maybe has a bigger logo on it.”

Any business in Biloxi’s Main Street area can apply for the grant. The business must provide a 25 percent money match for the grant awarded which could be up to $750.

Applications are available now and will be accepted through June 29th. To get an application or for more information on the façade grant program email mainstreet@biloxi.ms.us or call 228-435-6339.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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