Jefferson Matters awards mini grants, has more funds available

Jefferson Matters: Main Street is wasting no time utilizing a $2,000 grant from the Jefferson Rotary Club to assist downtown building owners with exterior improvements.
Jefferson Matters is offering two different mini-grant programs and had budgeted $2,000 for them. A $2,000 Rotary grant has doubled the total available. The mini-grants are for $500 each.

Jefferson Matters design committee members (from left) Mikki Schwarzkopf and Deb Kucerak with The Printer’s Box owners Jean and Don Feldmann.

The Building Façade mini-grant is for façade improvements including paint, window and door replacement, or the removal of non-conforming elements. The Storefront Signage mini-grant is a 50/50 matching grant of up to $500 for new wall mount and projecting signage on the exterior of the business.

Applications must be submitted for both programs, and design work must be approved by a Jefferson Matters committee prior to the work being done. Main Street Iowa offers free design assistance in both areas with an onsite visit available to discuss the needs of the business. Six building owners participated in storefront signage visits with Main Street design consultant Maia Jessen in March.

Jim Unger (left) and Karen Lawton

A pair of downtown businesses utilized the design services and were awarded mini-grants. The Printer’s Box received $500 toward the purchase of a new red exterior door. Unger Insurance received $445 as a match for signage that will be installed soon. Jim Unger used the design assistance suggestions from Main Street for his signage plans.

Building owners who want more information about the mini-grants can contact Jefferson Matters: Main Street director Peg Raney at the Jefferson Matters office or visit under the Resources tab. A number of hand-outs on these topics are also available.

2017 Rotary auction chair Adam Pedersen (right) with Jefferson Matters design team member Karen Lawton (center) and Jefferson Matters director Peg Raney (left)

The Rotary grant was a portion of proceeds from the 2017 charity dinner and auction. The Rotary Club awarded more than $28,000 in local grants and a total of more than $42,000 for projects of Rotary International.

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