Orillia Downtown Tomorrow Grants Improve And Revitalize Local Business Facades

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The City of Orillia’s Downtown Tomorrow CIP Grant Program awarded nearly $6,000 in grants during the final intake of 2021. Left, grant recipient Natasha McDonald, owner of The Kitchen Shop, Mayor Steve Clarke, and grant recipient Dawn Nita, owner of DWN Chocolate.

The City of Orillia presented approximately $6,000 in grants to two new projects in the City’s core through the third and final intake of the 2021 Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) grant program.

“The Downtown Tomorrow grant program is helping local businesses make investments sooner and larger than they otherwise would be able to,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “Through this grant program, small, independent businesses are able to grow their presence in Orillia and become true landmarks within our community.”

The DTCIP program includes financial incentives designed to stimulate development in the City’s core. The third and final application intake closed on Oct. 29, 2021. Grants awarded in late December 2021 include façade improvements for two local retail businesses.

In addition to the projects aligning well with the CIP’s evaluation criteria, both projects represent new business leaders in the downtown core; one the owner of a new store, and one the new owner of a long-existing business.

Grants awarded through the third intake were for properties located at:

  1. 70 Mississaga St. E. – $5,000 (The Kitchen Shop)
    • The Kitchen Shop, a long-standing business in Orillia that is under new ownership in 2021, is revitalizing the building’s façade. This includes refacing the material on the front façade, creating a new sign, and replacing two doors.
  2. 11 Mississaga St. E. – $938 (DWN Chocolate)
    • DWN Chocolate is a new retail business in the downtown core that opened in July 2021. As a new business, DWN Chocolate is adding a new sign and vinyl graphic for the top portion of the window to increase the brand identity and attract residents and visitors.

“I’m very grateful to receive this grant to spruce up the front of my store not only to make it more eye catching in the downtown, but also for customers to visually see where the store is, especially with the storefront sign going on,” said Natasha McDonald, owner of The Kitchen Shop. “It will be a new look to go with the new ownership.”

“I am delighted to receive financial support from the City of Orillia to help increase exposure for my downtown business,” said Dawn Nita, owner of DWN Chocolate. “DWN Chocolate is only one year old and is lucky enough to have great community support.”

For more information on the DTCIP Grant Program, contact the City of Orillia Business Development Division at 705-325-4900, or visit orillia.ca/downtownCIP.

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