iluna@valleytowncrier.com

McALLEN - Attractive storefronts when window shopping can help lead one into the store, which is why the City of McAllen’s department of Retail and Business Development is introducing ‘Refresh 50/50’.

It is a revitalization grant for small businesses located throughout the city of McAllen needing enhancements to their storefront.

“One thing I’ve always been proud of McAllen is that we’ve been the retail center for the Valley and south Texas and to an extent certainly northern Mexico,” said McAllen Mayor, Jim Darling.

‘The backbone of our community’ was often heard at the Refresh 50/50 launch due to McAllen’s small owned businesses. City commissioners in partner with the Economic Development Corporation, “wanted to have an impact on small business owners,” said Rebecca Olaguibel, retail and business development director. “They were looking for a way to support the hardworking small business owners of McAllen.”

The qualified storefront enhancements include: painting or art projects on building exterior, repair or remove old signs and awnings, new doors and windows, new lighting to enhance storefront, installation of permanent landscaping and repairs to improve storefront appearance.

“The goal for the revitalization grant is to stimulate and improve the physical economic and cultural vitality of some of McAllen’s visible areas,” said McAllen City Manager, Michelle Rivera.

The following qualify as designated areas for the storefront revitalization(s): 10th St., from Houston Ave. to Nolana, Business 83, from McColl to 29th St., 23rd St. from Idela Ave to Pecan Blvd., and S. Ware, from Idela Ave to Pecan Blvd.

The revitalization grant can be matched up to $15,000 to improve small businesses’ storefronts. Business owners wanting to enhance their displays or building must fill out an online application and be in good standing and have no pending municipal court cases for approval by the City of McAllen before planning. All funds are reimbursed to the client once the project is complete.

An upcoming seminar for business owners seeking guidance for the grant will be held at Fireman’s Park pump house Thursday, Nov. 7 from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. For more information and to fill out the online application visit: http://refresh5050.com/