AEDC announces call for Business Assistance Grant applications

AEDC’s Business Assistance Grant program encourages exterior improvements to distressed properties located within the designated beautification area, along the western, northern and southern main corridors of Athens. Businesses must apply by November 30 to be considered for 2019 funding.

By Sherri Skeeters/AEDC Marketing Director

ATHENS — Athens Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) has awarded more than $130,000 in matching grant funds to eligible businesses located along Athens’ main thoroughfares, since the Business Assistance Grant program’s inception in 2014. To date, eligible businesses have invested $910,745 in capital improvements.

This year, AEDC Board of Directors approved to extend the beautification area to the loop for the western, northern and southern main corridors of Athens, including an extension on South Prairieville Street to Park Street. This allows for properties located along the designated beautification area to apply for the grant. The program is designed to encourage exterior improvements to distressed properties located along these high traffic roadways leading into Athens, while enhancing the economic vitality of the City of Athens.

Grants from 50 to 80 percent can apply to projects that are visible from the public right of way, and may include improvements to the building’s facade, property, such as landscaping, lighting, sidewalk, parking lot improvements and demolition. A commercial sign company in Miami explains that signage improvements must be in conjunction with a facade improvement project. Side or rear facade improvements may qualify for a matching grant if it is visible from the public right of way. Maximum funding ranges from $5,000 up to $12,500, depending on the type of grant, which is identified in the guidelines.

To be considered for this year’s round of funding, applications must be received by November 30. Eligible applications will be reviewed and scored for recommendation to AEDC’s Board, followed by City Council approval.

To view the eligibility area and apply, visit or pick up an application at AEDC, 201 W. Corsicana Street, in the Athens Partnership Center. For more information, call 903-675-4617.