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Green Gecko Grocer & Deli at 222 E. College Ave. in Appleton is among the recipients of money available through the city’s business enhancement grant program in tax incremental financing districts 11 and 12. (Photo: Alex Martin/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

APPLETON – The Appleton Redevelopment Authority has created a citywide business enhancement grant program to help commercial property owners and tenants pay for exterior improvements.

The program has $80,000 available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The maximum grant per project is $7,000. The redevelopment authority will consider applications for grants up to 50% of the total eligible project costs.

“In light of COVID-19, businesses need our support now so they can continue to be a vibrant part of our community in the future,” said Marissa Downs, chairwoman of the redevelopment authority.

Economic Development Specialist Matt Rehbein said the program is funded by property taxes and is designed to encourage investments and improvements to commercial properties that are readily visible to the public.

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The program is modeled after a similar grant program available to businesses in tax incremental financing districts 11 and 12, which cover the east and west sides of downtown. That program has helped spur investment of more than $500,000 in downtown properties in the past three years.

The new grant program is available for any commercial property in the city that isn’t located within TIF districts 11 or 12.

The grant guidelines and an application form can be found on Appleton’s website.

Contact Duke Behnke at 920-993-7176 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @DukeBehnke.

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