Boardman hopes to revitalize community with storefront improvement program

<p>Boardman Storefronts</p>

Boardman Storefronts

The small city of Boardman, Oregon is trying to revitalize its community with a new program designed to help businesses improve their storefronts.

Business owners say this program will help give them the resources they need to do projects they've been waiting years to complete.

David Jones owns the Frontier Court Mobile Home Park in Boardman, and says part of his business is in need of some repairs.

"For example, the sign right there, and also the front of the building, the front of the office is getting a little bit... The paints wearing off and everything like that" said Jones.

Jones hasn't had the money to repaint the mobile home park's main sign, and he hasn't been able to buy a removable vacancy sign to replace the one he has - which is actually screwed into the sign below it.

But now, with the city's new storefront facade improvement program, he can apply for a grant or a special low-interest loan to get the job done.

"It's gonna allow me to bring things up more to code" said Jones.

City leaders say the three dozen or so businesses throughout the city can all apply for the assistance program, and so can new business looking to move to Boardman.

The city worked out a deal with local banks for low-interest loans for qualifying business owners, they also have $10,000 in grant money available for projects.

"We would consider painting projects, awning projects, re-paving projects or paving projects, landscaping. Anything that would improve the outside appearance from the street" said Jill Pambrun, Boardman Community Development Association.

The goal of the program is to re-energize this small city of about 3,500 people.

City leaders say they want to help the community grow and helping businesses is a key way to do that.

"We're just looking to really make this community more attractive in every way" said Pambrun.

Jones says this new opportunity for improvements could make a big impact on not just the community, but tourists as well.

"It's gonna add to just how everybody sees Boardman, especially around Main Street and everything like that, and how visitors come and see Boardman, it's gonna add a lot to it" said Jones.

If you're interested in applying for a special low-interest loan or a grant from this program, call Boardman City Hall.

City leaders say it is a good idea to have a proposal ready to discuss.