MORRISBURG – In its first regular meeting, South Dundas Council was able to approve the first grants and loans supporting local businesses through the recently implemented Community Improvement Plan program.
The Community Improvement Plan, which has both a grant and a loan component, was implemented late last summer: its first round of applications were submitted and reviewed this fall.
The review committee, which consists of five members, mostly municipal staff and one community member, recommended $41,587 worth of five-year, interest free, loans be awarded to four qualifying local businesses that applied for the loan.
Morrisburg Physiotherapy, which is extensively renovating the former Basket Case location in the Morrisburg Plaza, for a pending move into the mall from its present location at the south end of the Morrisburg Dairy plaza, will receive a $20,000 loan.
Gregor’s Place in the Morrisburg Plaza, which is making improvements to the restaurant, will receive a $10,000 loan.
Hicks Insurance, located along Fifth Street East, Morrisburg, will receive $9,087 for entrance and ramp work.
Thom Travel, located in the Morrisburg plaza, will receive a $2,500 loan, also for entrance area and accessibility improvements.
While the loans make use of municipal money, there is no direct impact on the budget because the repayable loans are treated as a liability.
“This is a way to give a hand up for businesses,” said South Dundas’ economic development officer Rob Hunter.
While the CIP has a loan component, it also has a grant component.
There is $15,000 in the budget for these grants and the committee approved seven grant applications.
The grants are not repayable. Instead they are a municipal contribution towards the continued commercial vitality and economic viability of urban and rural settlement areas of the municipality.
These grants are for sign and façade improvements.
Through this grant program, Morrisburg Physiotherapy ($1,000 sign), Hicks Insurance ($3,500 façade and $1,000 sign), Gregor’s Place ($2,000 façade), Diane Sullivan Pottery in Williamsburg ($3,800 façade), Doran Bay Resort ($740 sign), Lakeshore Massage Therapy ($960 sign), and Thom Travel ($2,500 sign), were each awarded grants.