Grant opportunities reopen for Margate businesses
Downsized in 2014 to address a limited number of commercial properties in the city’s redevelopment district, the property improvement program funded by the Margate CRA is once again open to all businesses in the district. The program offers both façade and landscaping grants to qualified businesses. (View revised guidelines) _________ Budgeted for $450,000 in fiscal year 2012, funds for the grant program shrank to $150,000 last year to include only areas deemed critical to redevelopment. Parcels qualified for the program were limited to a one block radius of four Margate intersections from Copans Road to Southgate Boulevard. Since the downsizing, few properties have applied for the dollar-for-dollar subsidies, causing the Margate Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to expand the program once again to include the whole of the district.(Click for map). With an annual budget of $150,000 and a maximum grant award of $50,000 per applicant, Margate resident, Anthony Caggiano, thought monies for the program should be expanded alongside the coverage area. “It doesn’t sound like a lot of help for a lot of businesses,” he said. “If three people apply for $50,000 you’re basically done for the year.” Executive Director for the CRA, Diane Colonna, said she didn’t think there would be a big demand for the program near term, but if there is the Agency could amend its budget to accommodate requests. “I think we’re okay for the remainder of this fiscal year. And if we do get more applications we could consider budgeting more next year,” she said. One Margate business, Giant Tire at 1917 N. State Road 7, wasted no time in applying. The business is looking to modernize its exterior and inside create a waiting room that harkens back to its first days in Margate more than 40 years ago. Owners plan on investing at least $50,000 in building upgrades, half of which will be funded by the improvement program if approved. Since inception, CRA grants have helped 28 property owners along Margate’s State Road 7 corridor improve building aesthetics and beautify parcels.