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The Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency has awarded $500,000 in grants to 15 local Downtown businesses.
The grants are part of the Downtown Storefront Activation Grant Program, a city effort to revive business in downtown Albuquerque. The new program is meant to encourage business owners to open new locations in the area.
“I think this is a great effort by the city to revitalize the Downtown area. It will be lovely to see more of the empty buildings and storefronts coming back to life,” Jove Hubbard, owner of Blue Door Patisserie said.
Among the 15 grant recipients are a variety of restaurants, a flamenco dance company and a comedy club.
“We are thrilled that these businesses were able to utilize revitalization resources to establish a home in the Downtown core,” Terry Brunner, director of the MRA, said in the news release.
Each of the first-round recipients received between $30,000 and $35,000, according to Sarah Allen, public information officer for the MRA. Allen said the MRA has received an extra $500,000 to help additional downtown businesses, but, according to her, that program is still in development.
“For now, we are continuing to accept applications from interested businesses and adding them to a waiting list,” Allen said.
To qualify for the grant, applicants must be within the perimeter of Lomas, Broadway, Coal and 11th Street, according to the city’s website.
Lisa Taj McCellon, general manager of Buds & Beans, mentioned the business was awarded $35,000. McCellon said businesses are awarded half the grant on opening and the other half after being open for at least a year. Those businesses must also continue to meet the program’s qualifications.
“The grant has helped us stay moving forward and allowed us to more effectively support our staff’s quality of life at the same time,” McCellon said.
Downtown businesses receiving grants:
• Blue Door Patisserie
• Buds & Beans
• Dry Heat Comedy Club
• Echoes Brewery
• Electric Playhouse
• Flamenco Works
• Flyby Provisions
• La Finca’s The Mouse Hole
• My Mom’s Restaurant
• Narke Greek Restaurant
• Warehouse 508
• Something Ginger
• Sport Systems at Warehouse 508
• The Acre at Warehouse 508
• Wing It Up