Clarendon EDC offering grants to refurbish downtown businesses

Revitalization project in downtown Clarendon is scheduled to begin in the summer after select business owners receive grant funding (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

Renovations to old buildings in downtown Clarendon will begin this summer. The Clarendon Economic Development Corporation (EDC) are awarding grants to business owners who have a store in a five-block radius of the downtown.

“We want to try and spruce up downtown and make it attractive,” said Roger Estlack, Clarendon EDC secretary. “Hopefully we will be able to pull people off the highway so they’ll stop and look at Clarendon’s historic sites and shop at our local businesses.”

Terri Floyd is a business owner in downtown Clarendon. She tells ABC 7 News the grant funding is too good an opportunity to pass up. She believed fixing up the fronts of businesses in downtown will be profitable in the future.

“We want it to look appealing so as your driving through everybody has to slow down at the stop light and we want them to look at Main Street,” said Terri Floyd, business owner. “We want them to see this a fun place to stop and do some business with small town business owners.”

An estimated 14,000 or more people drive through Clarendon each day along HWY 287. The president of the EDC board Robert Riza tells ABC 7 News this project will help boost tourism.

“The historic sight-seeing and travelers they know what’s here and their coming to see us,” said Robert Riza, Clarendon EDC president. “This just also helps as were thinking people will stop as their coming through on HWY 287 and need to get out of their car for a little bit.”

Established at its current location in 1887, the city has businesses that are 100-years or older. Current projects designed to help revitalize the downtown are close to completion that the Clarendon EDC feels will boost businesses for the city.

“We think this program will just build on the work that’s already been done to the Mulkey Theater, Old Clarendon Steakhouse and the Donley County Courthouse building,” said Estlack. “This can make Clarendon’s historic downtown more attractive and appealing to visitors.”

“Hopefully some of the these old beaten up buildings around here the business owners will see the opportunity to revitalize what we’ve got,” said Floyd. “We want to bring it back to something we can be proud of in Clarendon.”

Grant applications are due May 1 and will be reviewed by Clarendon EDC board members. Funding will be allocated in June. The Clarendon EDC started a similar project in 2008 but only had funding for $2,000 on the project. This year funding is $20,000 and there are guidelines business owners must agree to, too become eligible for funding.

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