PCDC Awards Six Grants to Area Businesses

PCDC Awards Six Grants to Area Businesses Main Photo

27 Jul 2022

Downtown Revitalization, Grant

PCDC has awarded six GO! DREAM grants to Phelps County businesses so far in 2022.

The grants are helping businesses expand, offer new services and even create more downtown housing. They are part of PCDC’s efforts to support existing businesses and GROW 37.

The GO! DREAM program aims to improve buildings in the downtown core of all Phelps County communities. The grants address both exterior facades of commercial buildings and certain interior renovations anywhere within the Central Business District.

One of the most recent DREAM grants helping the Bridal Isle in Loomis expand.

Owner Karla Axtell said the building next to her business has been for sale for several years, and she decided to purchase it to create more space for mothers’ dresses and alterations.

“The sales have been very good so it just seemed like it was time,” Axtell said. “It was either we were going to have to purchase or consider adding on.”

Brides from across the state and region travel to the Bridal Isle in downtown Loomis. The store sells gowns for brides and wedding parties, accessories such as shoes and jewelry, and offers tuxedo rentals.

Sales have been steadily growing from 276 wedding dresses sold in 2014 to 550 dresses sold in the past year.

PCDC recently awarded the store three grants through the GO! DREAM program including a first impression grant, a signage grant to remove the old awning and install a new one, and an exterior remediation grant to tear off a back building that is falling off.

Axtell said the expansion will also offer a chance to have something the store has never had before – a display window.

With the current volatile economy, Axtell said the PCDC grant made all the difference in moving ahead with the expansion.

“Every dollar matters, and these projects are a big undertaking,” she said. “With the price of everything going up lately, the grant honestly makes it possible for me to proceed with this project. Having that support is just wonderful. I feel so blessed to be in a community that really cares about growing small businesses. I am just really thankful.”

Other recent GO! DREAM grants included:

  • SCAR (South Central Area Recovery), 307 East Ave., Holdrege: First Impression Grant to remove vinyl siding and replace storefront doors and windows and a signage grant to remove the awning and install a new sign. PCDC also awarded the downtown Holdrege organization an exterior remediation grant in 2021 to help replace a leaking room.
  • Schrock Building, 804 4th Ave. Holdrege: First Impression Grant, Exterior Remediation Grant and a Code Compliance Grant to help renovate three upper-level apartments.
  • The Screen Machine, 408 West Ave., Holdrege: First Impression Grant to replace the front door and 8 bay windows.
  • JB’s Sports Bar & Grill, 302 East Ave. Holdrege: Exterior Remediation Grant to replace the HVAC system.
  • CS Storage, 702 W. 4th Ave. Holdrege, Building Exterior Impact Grant to install LP smart siding to the front wood façade, replace front door and install a new sign for climate controlled storage space.

The PCDC grants are all matching grants with the business paying at least half of the cost. For more information on PCDC grants or to apply, visit https://www.phelpscountyne.com/business-services/go!-programs/go-dream-programs