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South Bend offers grant program to West Side businesses

A grant program in South Bend is looking to help give West Side businesses a boost.

In it’s second year, the West Side Main Streets Matching Grant Program, is providing matching grants to businesses on Lincolnway West and Western Avenue.

“The grant is really there to give an extra boost to those businesses, really help them thrive as businesses and improve the appearance of the streets as well,” said Michael Divita, planner with Community Investment.

The city hopes the extra incentives will help spark growth on that side of town

The grant covers exterior improvements like windows, doors, awnings, signs, outdoor seating and landscaping.

It’s changes like that making places like La Rosita on Western Ave not just businesses to pass by.

La Rosita received the grant last year. They say the renovations have increased sales by 40 percent.

“We are very thankful for what they did, especially for the community for the neighborhood,” said employee Lorena Ibara.

Ibara says the Western Avenue Project has been a great asset to business and the community.

Adding new curbs, sidewalks, landscaping, streetlights and wider spaces along the side of the businesses.

Ibara says it makes customers a lot more likely to stop by since the building is easier to access.

Last year fifteen businesses took advantage of the grant, and over a half a million dollars were given away.

If you’re interested you’ll have to come up with half of the money yourself but could receive one thousand to 25 thousand dollars.

Applications for 2016 are being accepted now until September, to apply click here.

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