Orillia grants more than $45,000 to local businesses

Four projects in downtown Orillia were awarded grants on Dec. 17, thanks to the city’s Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) grant program.

“The Downtown Tomorrow Grant Program is helping businesses in the city’s core make improvements to their properties that they may not have otherwise been able to afford,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “So far, seven projects that received an improvement grant are complete and we’re beginning to see the positive impact these projects have on the look and feel of the downtown.”

The grant panel approved four grants, as part of the third 2018 intake of the program. In total more than $45,000 was awarded. The program, now in its second year, includes financial incentives designed to stimulate development in Orillia’s core. Grants awarded during this round include feasibility and design study, façade improvements as well as a residential grant, which will encourage more people to live and work in the downtown core. To date, every dollar the city has invested has seen ten dollars invested by local business owners.

“I am very excited to see Orillia coming forward to help small entrepreneurs,” said Mike Radonicich, grant recipient and property owner at 58 Albert St. S. “This assistance from the DTCIP program will enable me to rehabilitate an underutilized property in the downtown to help revitalize the city’s core.”

The final four recipients of the 2018 DTCIP Grant Program are: 62 Peter St. N. ($3,000 for feasibility and design drawings to install a barrier-free access ramp); 58 Albert St. S. ($32,000 for residential and feasibility/design grants to develop a vacant piece of property and create four new residential units); 131 Atherley Rd. ($7,500 for façade improvements to upgrade storefront as well as replace store signage) and 14 Peter St. S. ($3,325 for façade work to replace and upgrade to a barrier-free accessible door).

“Most applicants who have received a DTCIP grant have commented it has allowed them to complete larger scale projects and complete them earlier than expected with the help of the financial boost,” said Laura Thompson, real estate and commercial development manager. “We will be continuing the grant program in 2019 and encourage those who are considering projects for the new year to contact us to get the application process started.”

Applications will be available in January 2019 and the first intake deadline is set for the end of February.

Visit orillia.ca/downtowncip or contact the City of Orillia economic development office at 705-325-4900 for more information on the grant program or to book your mandatory pre-consultation.

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