Apply for the First Impressions Grant

27 Mar 2018

Businesses in Phelps County can apply for the First Impressions Grant and use the money to improve the appearance of their building. This is an excellent way to fund restoration and improvement projects that make a business more welcoming for customers and guests. In 2017, seven projects were completed using this grant money. They were awarded for projects designed to improve Phelps County buildings in need of exterior updates that would be aesthetically significant to the community’s first impression.

You can view pictures of these projects here.

Businesses are Invited to Apply for the 2018 First Impressions Grant

Business and property owners looking to improve the exterior of their building are invited to apply for the 2018 First Impressions Grant. Money is available to help pay for materials, which could include:

  • Windows
  • Entrance modification materials
  • Paint
  • Masonry
  • Awnings
  • Lighting

Other materials may be approved if they will be used to create a good “first impression.”

Funding restoration projects

When possible, businesses should try to restore building to enhance their original character and charm, since this can create a cohesive community aesthetic. For grant purposes, restoration is the preferred treatment for building improvement. Restoration is most applicable to buildings where there has been very little change to the building over time. This results in a return to the original appearance through the use of authentic materials and the replication of missing or deteriorated concepts.

The grant can fund renovation projects as well

Restoring a building is not always possible or financial viable. We understand this and also support renovation projects. Renovation results in improvements which do not attempt to return the building to its original appearance. The objective should be a return in the appearance to the appropriate period architecture of the building. Improvements made should be sensitive to historic details and materials and should respect whatever original character remains.

The money is available so why not apply?

We are currently accepting applications for the 2018 First Impressions Grant. The money is available so why not use it to begin your restoration or renovation project? Improving the appearance of your building can have a positive impact on your business by making it more welcoming to customers, while also enhancing the aesthetics of our downtown spaces.

You can access the application here or contact Carley Bruning, Director of Business Services for Phelps County Development Corporation at 308.995.4148 or