Clover businesses freshen up sites with grant money

news@enquirerherald.comAugust 15, 2013 

— Doug Krashner got a lot of compliments when he made some recent cosmetic improvements to his Clover business, Auto Body Shop. And the town of Clover helped him pay for it.

Krashner put up some new signs and repainted the front of the 103 Killian Circle body shop and three large roll-up garage doors. He put a new garage door on the other side and closed in a door that was not being used.

Krashner is one of Clover several business owners who have taken advantages of a facade grant program offered by the town to make cosmetic improvements to commercial property. Business can get grants of up to $1,000 per location on a 50-50 matching basis, with a minimum $300 investment.

“It’s a good program,” he said.

The town is now offering the assistance for the fifth year, with applications due by Sept. 6. Improvements must visibly improve the appearance or historic character of the building.

The Clover Town Council, Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce and Clover Economic Development Board feel the program has improved the way the town looks, said Town Manager Allison Harvey. But she also said town officials believe there’s still work to be done.

Patsy Turner, who owns Good Things Consignment and More at 104 S. Main St. with her sister, Carol Maroska, said they remodeled the building when they moved in a decade ago. But it needed some freshening up.

“We had some painting done out front and all the way around the building, actually, just to give it a face lift,” Turner said. They also replaced some window boards and shutters and lighting and they added flood lights.

“It helped us greatly,” Turner said. “Our total cost was several thousand dollars, and we got a $1,000 grant from the town . . . Any time there’s so much traffic, things get dirty outside. It just freshened it up.”

Patti Imler, owner of the Patti-O Grill at 1007 Main St., has used two of the grants and plans to apply for another. She has used the grants to replace old wooden steps at the front with brick steps and aluminum handrails, and to add shrubs and flowering trees for curb appeal.

“It really has changed the whole front of the building as far as it looks from the street,” Imler said. “In the years we’ve gotten the grant, our business has literally tripled. You can see us now, and before we were just some little building on a side street. When people go by, they notice us.”

Imler said she would like to add more landscaping if she receives another grant.

She believes the work has given her eatery a nicer image, and that’s drawing in customers.

“I think initially we weren’t getting the families, the couples with children, because it had a bar like look to it,” Imler said. “You went by and it looked like a bar. Now it looks like a quaint little grill on the side of the road.”

Harvey said some suggested improvements for the facade grants include painting, new signs, awnings, doors, windows, lighting and restoring the original materials and finish.

Grant guidelines and the application are available at Town Hall and online at www.cloversc.org. For more details, contact Harvey at 222-9495 or email her at aharvey@cloversc.org.

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