Fairfield’s Façade Improvement & Marketing Assistance Program (FIMAP), which launched in 2018, has continued to stimulate investment and enhance the visual aesthetics of the town’s districts and corridors. Entering its third year in operation, with similar programs previously utilizing Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the FIMAP is supported by town Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues. The distribution of funding is spearheaded by the Fairfield Economic and Community Development Committee (FECDC) and has continued to increase in popularity.
The grant funding can be used towards a diverse array of project costs, including redevelopment initiatives and the renovation, restoration, and preservation of privately-owned business exteriors within Fairfield. FIMAP also provides marketing assistance to businesses via print media, radio advertising, social media platforms, website enhancements, and other options. Successful grantee applications can be reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost of façade improvement and marketing projects.
“We are pleased to be in the midst of offering a third funding cycle for Fairfield businesses and property owners, and we are thrilled with the applications we have received in the past,” states Michelle Flewelling, Fairfield town manager. “Despite unprecedented difficulties faced by companies and property owners during the past year, local businesses have maintained an admirable commitment to the community, including moving forward on a focused range of restoration projects to launching e-commerce platforms that drive online sales. In turn, FIMAP projects are creating a strong foundation from which we can assist the local economy as we continue to invite growth and development.”
Fairfield has deployed seven grants totaling $67,591.50 since the program was originally conceived in late 2018. The FIMAP grants have stimulated more than $137,850 in direct investment into community businesses in less than three years.
With compact and asset rich commercial districts, Fairfield’s continued efforts of revitalization demonstrates a dedication to promoting growth, both from its current resident business owners and prospective entrepreneurs who are looking to expand operations. Recent recipients of grant funding have been Belanger’s Drive-In, IBEW 1253, Meridians Kitchen & Bar, Sunset Flowerland & Greenhouse, and Maine Avenue Auto Sales.
“The vitality of Fairfield’s downtown, commercial corridors, and residential neighborhoods has continued to catalyze positive growth and create tangible change,” states Garvan D. Donegan, Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development at Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC). “Fairfield’s investments into the community and local businesses emphasizes the importance of stimulating local impact and creating conditions of economic resiliency.”
Eligible projects may apply for $3,000 to $25,000 in funding; FIMAP is funded by Fairfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues. Interested applicants may access a FIMAP application at http://wwwfairfieldme.com/town/pages/business-resources or by contacting CMGC at 207-680-7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Fairfield’s Economic and Community Development Advisory Committee:
The Economic and Community Development Advisory Committee is a “citizens” committee with open membership to all Fairfield residents, business owners, and educators who have a vested interest in community development. Meetings are open to the public, and the committee typically meets monthly at the Fairfield Community Center; go to Fairfield’s online calendar of events for a meeting schedule.
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