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1Berkshire announced the launch of a pilot micro-grant program to support downtown business facade improvements throughout the region going into the summer season of 2022. Funded through a one-time grant received by 1Berkshire, at least 30 micro-grants ranging from between $500 and $1,000 will be made available to small for-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations located in downtown business districts across the Berkshires.  

Funding is focused on providing these businesses and organizations small injections of capital that will help them execute non-construction facade improvements, such as awning repairs, updated signage, trim painting, window washing, power washing of entryways, hanging plants, outdoor seating, and window lighting. 

Collaborative applications are strongly encouraged in cases where multiple businesses can leverage the joint contracting of a single service provider together, such as for window cleaning or power washing services. Through these improvements, not only will our small businesses be able to put their best foot forward during the busy visitor season, but the overall aesthetics of our downtowns will be improved.  

Applications for microgrants are open now, and will be reviewed by a committee on a first-come, first-served basis. Grants will be awarded until the $30,000 has been exhausted, and no more than $5,000 will be awarded within any single municipality.  

“When we think of ways to help our small business community shine, and how to make our downtowns more attractive to the thousands of visitors coming to the region, these types of micro-capital injections can really go a long way,” said Benjamin Lamb, 1Berkshire director of Economic Development. “We are ecstatic to be able to invest directly into the businesses and organizations that are the lifeblood of our downtown corridors, and can’t wait to begin awarding these grants to many hard-working businesses and organizations that call our region home.” 

For small businesses and organizations located in Berkshire County downtowns, the application to apply for micro grants can be found at https://1berkshire.com/1berkshire-programs/best-foot-forward-facade-improvement-grant-program/ .