Estherville City Council Approves Business Grant Program

Thu 12-22-2016

(Estherville)-- Community leaders in Estherville are hoping a new grant program will help revitalize the city's downtown area and commercial area along Highway 9, or Central Avenue.

The Estherville city council earlier this week approved a new Business Property Improvement grant program. Lexie Ruter of the city's Chamber of Commerce tells KUOO news it's intended to help individuals interested in opening their own business downtown and are looking for a storefront to either rent or buy...Ruter01 (1) 

"This is a matching grant, a 50 percent matching grant up to $5,000 to help them with any permanent interior renovation. We're finding that we have some empty spaces and that it's a big struggle for people who are starting a new business to think about the fact of putting, you know, $5,000, $10,000 into a building they don't own that they're currently renting to get it to the point where they need it to be for starting their business. And so our hope is that this grant will be able to help them get those businesses started."

Ruter expects there will be quite a bit of interest in the program...Ruter02 (1) 

"We've been working with several new businesses looking at properties, trying to help them get started here in Estherville and it seems to be kind of one of the big roadblocks that are kind of in the way for our businesses getting started here. And so we want to be able to help them out and get those businesses started."

Ruter says not only will it help with that, but she says the increased traffic that will come with having more businesses in the downtown area will also benefit those that have been there awhile...Ruter03 (1)  

"No matter whether you received the grant funding or not, having more people in our downtown is going to be beneficial to every single downtown business and to Estherville as an entire community. And so helping make sure that we're filling the empty spaces that we do have and making sure that we have solid businesses who are generating local option sales tax, who are driving people into our downtown, is going to benefit everybody."

Anyone wanting more information about the program should contact Ruter or Lyle Hevern at the Estherville Chamber. The number is (712) 362-3541.