Buildings in downtown Bettendorf in need of some renovations, a remodel or some sprucing up now can get some financial help through a new grant program managed by the Downtown Bettendorf Organization (DBO).
The DBO now is accepting applications for its new Facade Improvement Grants and Commercial Interior Improvement Grants.
Funding is available to any business or property in the downtown’s Self Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID). The SSMID’s boundaries are described as “point to point” from Martha’s Point on the western edge to Premiere Auto on the east end and from the Mississippi River north roughly to Brown Street, which runs behind K & K Hardware.
“We’re hoping the time is now for businesses to want to invest in their property — with all the improvements being made in downtown, the new Interstate 74 Bridge going in and downtown being more attractive to investment,” said Ryan Jantzi, Executive Director of DBO, a division of the Quad Cities Chamber.
Jantzi said the pilot program replaces a previous program led by The City of Bettendorf, which awarded grants for façade improvements exclusively. Modeled after a grant program run by the Downtown Davenport Partnership, a sister organization and Quad Cities Chamber affiliate, the DBO program was expanded to also help businesses making interior improvements.
The façade grants cover projects that improve the value of the building and make it more attractive, he said. Interior grants cover improvement projects that are permanent and “stay with the building.” Applicants for either grant can apply for up to $15,000 or 50% of the project’s total cost – whichever is less.
“A new business moving in could leverage the funding to help with their renovations,” Jantzi said. “This is a way to help businesses invest in their properties, bring their buildings up to code, become ADA compliant or even renovate them for a whole new use.”
Jantzi said the two grants have a total of $50,000 available and were funded by $25,000 contributions from both the City of Bettendorf and DBO. If the pilot program can show it is adding value to the downtown, he said more money might be added in future years.
The program is designed to help the SSMID reach its goal of improving the downtown’s appearance. “Hopefully this creates a chain reaction and the next guy says ‘I can tap into this and improve my property,’” Jantzi said.
Applications for the Façade Improvement and Commercial Interior Improvement grants are available on DBO’s website, downtownbettendorf.org, or by emailing Jantzi. B, firstname.lastname@example.org. Both property owners and business owners can apply, but business owners who rent the property must have the landlord’s permission to make the improvements.