By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
(May 11, 2023) The Town of Berlin announced eight businesses that will receive help paying for exterior improvements through its annual Commercial Façade Grants Program last week.
The grant program matches up to half of project funding, up to a maximum of $12,000, with the money coming from the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy Grant.
The grant is available to downtown business property owners to improve the exterior appearance of their businesses and, in turn, the downtown district’s vitality.
The town selected seven businesses from eight applications, including The Globe ($2,700), Una Bella Salute ($2,500), Baked Dessert Café ($1,250), Wooden Octopus ($11,500), The Street Kitchen ($10,000), Brewery at Broad Street ($10,000) and the Worcester County Arts Council ($12,000).
“The Downtown Commercial Façade Grant Program is an essential tool in supporting the continued growth and development of our downtown district,” Ivy Wells, director of Economic and Community Development, said in a press release, “The awardees this year have proposed exciting projects that will enhance the appearance and attraction of our downtown, and we look forward to seeing their progress and results.”
Well said that each project was reviewed and submitted to the Maryland Historical Trust and that funding was “fairly distributed” among the qualified recipients.
“I’m just excited,” said Cassandra Brown, owner of Una Bella Salute at 6 Main Street.
Brown said that the grant money would be used for new outdoor signage.
“Our business is in desperate need of exterior painting,” said Baked Dessert Cafe owner Robin Tomaselli.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to get grant money to make improvements to the front of our building. It was in desperate need of being power washed and repainted.”
With painters doing work on Monday when the store is typically closed, Tomaselli added that she hopes that Baked Dessert will have a brand-new paint finish within the next two weeks.