Grants given to downtown San Benito businesses

SAN BENITO — Downtown is going to get a little bit prettier.

Earlier in the year, the San Benito Economic Development Corporation began offering incentives to small business owners to attract businesses to the city’s downtown district.

The reimbursement program provides businesses the opportunity to upgrade their storefront by covering half the costs.

In addition, the Rent Subsidy Program provides rent assistance for six months to retain businesses in the area and encourage growth.

According to SBEDC coordinator Rachel Siller, four separate businesses have been able to take advantage of the program.

Only five applications were received for the façade grants and two applications for the rent subsidy program.

Both rent subsidy applications were approved and three façade grants were awarded after one withdrew and another is still pending approval.

Walk in Faith PHC and Trunk Full of Junk both received a rent subsidy grant.

In addition, Trunk Full of Junk, an antique store, received a Downtown Façade Grant that would provide funds for a new sign.

Siller said the business has the potential to attract shoppers.

“The SBEDC was happy to incentivize Trunk Full of Junk,” Siller said. “The store offers interesting and colorful products that attract more shoppers to our downtown area.”

Victoria’s Sewing Box received $10,000 for overall improvements to the storefront.

“The commercial Façade Grant Program is a way for the San Benito Economic Development Corporation to assist businesses in making storefront improvements, promote downtown revitalization, support local businesses and encourage new business startup,” Siller said.

Salinas Pharmacy also received funds for a remodeling project that would cost $14,450.