Loan fund to help downtown beautification

Monday, February 21, 2011

Downtown Cape Girardeau business leaders looking to spruce up their storefronts can now apply for assistance through a new program coordinated by Old Town Cape Inc.

The Cape Girardeau Area Community Development Corporation and the Industrial Development Authority of Cape Girardeau County have partnered to establish a $30,000 loan fund for building facade improvements.

The Broadway Corridor will be first priority, said Old Town Cape executive director Marla Mills.

The Cape Girardeau Area Community Development Corporation will manage the loan process.

The loan fund seeks to provide the lowest possible terms to the property and/or business owner. In addition, the respective businesses will be provided design assistance for their properties.

The design process will be facilitated by Old Town Cape with assistance from its design committee.

"This is an exciting opportunity for downtown businesses, especially those along the Broadway Corridor," Mills said. "We hope many step forward to use this loan fund to improve the aesthetics of their property."

Additional details will be made available by April 1, when the fund becomes operational. Interested property and business owners along the Broadway Corridor can contact Mills at 334-8085 or marlamills@oldtowncape.org to receive additional information and to be placed on the mailing list for when promotional materials are available.

* Public hearing on Blair Industries tax abatement request: Blair Leasing is asking the city of Cape Girardeau for $296,935 in property tax abatements over the next 10 years at the site of the former Thorngate Ltd. factory. A public hearing on this request will be held at Tuesday's city council meeting. Blair announced in January that it will open a paper box manufacturing facility this spring in the former Thorngate Ltd. building. The project is a $2.5 million investment promising 30 new jobs this year and more in the future.

* Chamber warns of unauthorized solicitation: The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce was recently notified some of its members have been solicited by a representative of Elite Publishing of Mossville, Ill. The representative states he is selling advertisement for an upcoming Newcomer's Guide and that the Chamber will be distributing it. The Chamber is in no way affiliated with this business or its guides.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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