Mathews County has been awarded a $666,696 Community Development Block Grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for a business district revitalization project in the downtown area.
The county’s planning and zoning director, John Shaw, said that the money will be used for a couple of different purposes.
One purpose will be for awarding small grants to business owners who would like to improve the appearance of their storefronts.
Owners of 11 properties that include 20 storefronts have already expressed an interest in applying for the grants, he said. Each grant would require a 1:1 match, with matching funds provided in cash, in improvements already made within the past year-and-a-half or so, or a combination of the two.
The grants will be in the form of loans of up to about $12,500 that are forgivable if the property owner completes the work and maintains it for a certain period of time, said Shaw. Any agreement made will run with the property and will be transferred to a new owner if the property is sold.