Norfolk County has approved Anchor Down Inc. (Jenny Ball, The Dover Cheese Shop) for projects under the Building Façade Improvement Program, the Structural Improvement Grant, and the Rehabilitation Grant programs of the Community Improvement Plan (CIP).
Anchor Down Inc. will receive an interest free loan of up to $7,500 and grants of up to $16,500 for major renovations to the building. Renovations include: exterior repairs to brick, new siding, soffit, facia and eaves, exterior lighting improvements, installation of new joist to increase structural integrity, relocation and updating of plumbing, electrical improvements, and rehabilitation of a commercial unit which will be leased commencing May 1st.
“The building has been a little neglected, so there are structural issues we’re working on,” owner Jenny Ball told the Norfolk News, adding that the planned façade improvements wouldn’t be possible without the county grant.
“This building is really old, so it seems that every crevice we open is a project we have to fix before we get to the pretty part.”
Ball praised the Community Improvement Program, saying it helps business owners complete work they want to do, but can’t necessarily afford.
“And do it right, too,” she said. “I think it’s a great, great program, and I think it’s something this town desperately needs.”
All the contractors and labourers working at the cheese shop are hired locally, she noted. “That was important to me.”
In addition to fixing up her store, Ball is renovating a commercial unit in the back half of the building that will be leased as of next month to Emily Tyndall, a Norfolk resident who is expanding her catering business to open a storefront that will offer homemade, ready-to-eat food made with locally sourced ingredients.
“As a young entrepreneur, it was tough starting out,” Ball said. “So I wanted to be a good landlord for someone trying to start their own business.”
Incentives are available for architectural and design, environmental site assessment, structural improvements, building facades, agricultural building and facilities, residential conversions and rehabilitation, landscaping, signage and property improvement. Property tax increment grants are also available for larger projects.
Non-residential projects are eligible for incentives. Depending on the program, programs apply to properties in urban, hamlet, lakeshore and agricultural areas.
Community Improvement Plans help municipalities target areas in transition or in need of repair, rehabilitation and redevelopment, and stimulate private sector investment through municipal incentive-based programs.