Skip to main content

Esquimalt streamlines grant for businesses to improve streetscape

The Township of Esquimalt has updated its beautification program to encourage more businesses to sign up, in a bid to improve its streetscape.

The business façade improvement program is to help revamp the look of existing business fronts, offering up a minimum of $2,000 through a one-time grant,

The grant covers 50 per cent of an applicant's renovation costs up to $5,000 per single-face project, or up to $10,000 per building or corner lot project.

Esquimalt is also offering architectural design services through the program. 

"The [Esquimalt] Chamber of Commerce will also adjudicate who receives the funding, that way we’re sticking within our parameters which is [that] we’re not, under the community charter, allowed to help businesses," she said.

The program can be used for projects such as new paint, architectural features and landscaping – and is open to applications.

It’s a change from a former program that was criticized for being too hard too access.

"If you weren’t essentially developing a new building, it was difficult to demonstrate an increase in the property tax and thus get any property tax relief," said Fort Properties owner Suzanne Bradbury about the old program.

The capital region landlord holds a number of properties, including one at West Bay Landing in Esquimalt.

Fort Properties says it has invested more than $100,000 in improvements to the site, such as signage, an art mural, lighting and new paint.

Bradbury says they have more work to do and will be among the businesses applying for the new grant – after being turned down under the old system.

"I think they have a very high degree of success of making this program more accessible," said Bradbury.

"So stronger, more beautiful buildings attract stronger, more house-proud tenants," she added. "Those tenants then in turn serve the community better by providing good services and amenities that the Esquimalt community has been waiting for, for a long time."

Some businesses CTV News spoke with felt they couldn’t apply, since they’re not the landlord. The chamber of commerce says that’s not the case.

The chamber is hoping anyone with questions will join an information session on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Esquimalt’s mayor believes the program is an important fit in a larger vision to bring more people into the community.

"In the next 10 years, the landscape of this community is going to be totally different," she said. Top Stories

Stay Connected