SHOULD THERE BE A STORE FRONT FAÇADE GRANT FOR KITCHENER BUSINESSES?
There is a good article in the Record today. It can be found here: http://www.therecord.com/news-story/4347769-kitchener-considers-extending-downtown-storefront-grants/ . Improved business exteriors will improve consumer confidence and encourage more spending. If I understand the process correctly, the City of Kitchener will match money from the business owner up to a certain amount.
If a business is doing well, it does not need the taxpayers’ money for a grant. Also, a grant is simply an investment in a business without the taxpayer getting anything in return. A loan would assist businesses without it being a cash grab.
This program is for struggling businesses. These businesses have little liquidity. It is unlikely that a business would wish to invest funds in a new façade. They would put their funds in more vital areas. I believe, however, that the city should offer low-interest or interest-free loans instead of grants. Struggling businesses need capital and less interest expense. A loan would more closely address a struggling business’s needs. The rate of repayment can be adjusted based on the business’s success.