Main Street program recognizes Warrenton
WARRENTON — The town of Warrenton has been named a recipient of an Award of Merit in the North Carolina Small Town Main Street program.
The town had a winning entry in the category of Economic Restructuring for its Revitalization of Warrenton project. The news was confirmed in a letter from Elizabeth Parham in the Office of Urban Development in the North Carolina Department of Commerce to the town administrator, Robert Davie.
“We appreciate the efforts of the town and the Revitalization Committee in furthering the cause of downtown revitalization in your community and are delighted to recognize those efforts,” Parham wrote in the letter.
Warrenton’s Revitalization Committee has been a key player in stimulating a number of initiatives.
Two incentive programs have been active in creating new businesses and in expanding existing businesses. The Revolving Loan Fund provided needed financial assistance to two new businesses. It made it possible for a restaurant to acquire a capuccino maker and a dry cleaners to purchase machinery.
Five new jobs were created as these businesses opened.
The $15,000 loaned for the two projects triggered a total investment of public and private investment of $60,000. Repayment schedules for the loans allow the funds to become available to other borrowers.
A grant program for facade improvements offers businesses a 25 percent match of the cost of awnings and signs. In the first six months of the project, grant funds of $1,100 provided awnings for four store fronts for a total public and private investment of $4,400.
An initiative called Adaptive Reuse stimulated the transformation of a cement block warehouse and a historic brick building into Robinson Ferry, an upscale restaurant. More than a dozen jobs were created.
Upper Story Redevelopment converted second story space in two buildings into loft apartments and office space. Tax value of the buildings has been tripled by the renovation.
An active Business Recruitment effort by elected officials and town staff led to the opening of Futrell Pharmacy, Coble Printing, Crown Cleaners, Robin’s Small Engine Repair, Thrifty Nickel Antiques and Oakley Hall Too.
It also encouraged the Scarlet Rooster to double its retail space.
The Small Town Main Street program provides a variety of services, but not funds, to small, rural towns that have limited resources. Warrenton participated in the program in 2011.
The award will be presented at the North Carolina Main Street annual awards dinner and program in New Bern on Jan. 29.
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