DREAM Grant Paves Way for The 308 Boutique Expansion
30 Jan 2023
Downtown Revitalization, Grant, Business
The 308 Boutique in downtown Holdrege helps its customers look and feel “pretty” inside and out. And, PCDC is helping the boutique update its look with a GO! DREAM grant.
PCDC awarded the nine-year-old business a DREAM grant to replace windows and doors, refresh the awning and apply a fresh coat of paint to the exterior. DREAM grants are intended to help restore and improve buildings in the downtown core of Phelps County communities.
“It's hard to imagine that nine years ago we were prepping to open The 308 Boutique in what used to be U-Save Pharmacy,” owner Erin Sandy said. “The orange shag came out, the brick was exposed, floating shelves were made and racks were rolled in.”
Today, in addition to the Holdrege retail location, the boutique has a website that draws customers from across the United States, is celebrating three years in its second location in Elkhorn, has launched an app, hosts live sales twice a week, and recently opened a third location pop-up store in Aksarben Village in Omaha.
“With all of this, it's time for a refresh at home base,” Sandy said. “Because of the DREAM grant, we have been able to replace all of the windows and our lovely (but leaky) old door. Awnings are being re-surfaced, and a fresh coat of paint will brighten up the storefront.”
The windows and doors were updated in October, and the awning and paint portion of the project will occur when the weather allows this spring.
Sandy said the PCDC grant paved the way for a store expansion she is planning this spring. New windows were installed to the north of her current store where the expansion will take place. The expansion will nearly double the floor space for apparel and accessories and will provide room for a much-needed back office.
“This will allow us to dedicate space to our top brands and to do what we do - retailtainment - even better,” Sandy said.
She is grateful for PCDC’s help in making this project possible.
“We would not have taken on the entire project at once without the help of PCDC,” Sandy said.
2023 DREAM Grants
PCDC will offer three types of GO! DREAM grants for 2023: First Impression/Exterior Improvement Grants, Building Signs and Murals Grants, and Building Integrity Grants.
First Impression grants provide up to $5,000 matching grants for paint, windows, awnings, doors, lighting, repair, installation and masonry improvements.
PCDC has previously provided grants for signs, but this year PCDC has added murals to the mix. Projects may receive grants of up to $2,500 for murals or signs. The first impression grants and signs/murals grants may be combined for a total grant maximum of $7,500.
Building Integrity grants address structural deficiencies or property flaws of commercial or retail buildings that prevent or discourage further investment to the exterior or interior spaces. These $5,000 matching grants are available to any business in the corporate limits of any Phelps County community.
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/.