As a catalyst for the development and revitalization of neighborhoods, INHP is proud to be a significant supporter of The Small Business Façade Improvement Program, led by Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Indianapolis (LISC).
In 2016, the innovative program supported 30 projects across Indianapolis neighborhoods. Every dollar invested in the program leveraged $4.82 from private businesses.
The program allows small businesses located in distressed markets to make visible improvements to the front exterior of their buildings. Businesses are selected through a competitive process and must work in partnership with their local neighborhood to receive funds and complete their project. Once chosen, business owners receive free architectural consultation to maximize visual impact and are reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost of the work. These partnerships produce sustainable development that goes further than the outside of a building.
“The FOCUS façade improvement program is a rare source of funds for small businesses in Indianapolis to increase their presence with the goal of increasing their viability,” said Moira Carlstedt, president and CEO of INHP. “It complements our housing initiatives as it creates vibrant commercial destinations for neighborhood residents that increase the overall attractiveness of the area.”
One 2016 façade grant recipient, Jim Walker, already knows how significant the program is. He owns and operates Listen Hear, a pop-up gallery for enjoying art, music sound art and community.
“With the help of our facade grant, we have been able to very literally open our space to the community. The large garage door in the front pulls open and has allowed music, flowers, and culture to spill out onto the sidewalk — welcoming neighbors and other visitors into Listen Hear,” said Walker. “The large and very visible awning also allows people to know they’ve found us. This support has transformed an otherwise nondescript storefront into one that is eye-catching and a very worthy compliment to the art shown inside.”
Learn more about FOCUS and the façade improvement program here.