Orange Poppy, one of several businesses that have improved their storefront with the help of Soldotna’s Storefront Improvement Program, is photographed Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. The improvement program awards grants to local businesses wanting to beautify their building’s exterior. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Orange Poppy, one of several businesses that have improved their storefront with the help of Soldotna’s Storefront Improvement Program, is photographed Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. The improvement program awards grants to local businesses wanting to beautify their building’s exterior. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna accepting storefront grant applications

Applications are due March 5

The City of Soldotna is now accepting applications for two grant programs aimed at helping businesses improve their storefronts.

In addition to its traditional storefront improvement program, the city is also offering a virtual storefront program, which was specifically developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help Soldotna’s small businesses establish and build their online presence.

“It is the goal of this program to expand the visibility of and access to local businesses to increase their sales and customer contacts; and to increase the stability of our local economy and provide a wider marketplace for local goods and services,” the program guidelines read.

According to the virtual storefront program guidelines, the grant amount available to each business is 75% of the cost of approved work with a maximum city contribution of $1,000. Businesses without a physical storefront in Soldotna are not eligible to participate in the program. Participants are also required to obtain at least one bid for each part of the proposed project that may require separate contracts.

The city’s award-winning traditional storefront improvement program, which was developed in 2012, reimburses up to 50% of the cost of eligible storefront improvements to Soldotna businesses, or up to $7,500.

“By partnering with local business owners and lessees to share the cost of beautifying the exterior of a business, the program aims to boost traffic, increase property values, and improve the overall look and vitality of our city’s commercial districts,” the program guidelines say.

Work eligible for the program includes the rehabilitation of building facades visible to the street such as storefronts, signs, windows and exterior lighting, among others. Work not eligible for the program includes non-permanent improvements and items like roofs or structural foundations, among other things. Like the virtual storefront program, applicants must obtain a bid for each type of work being done.

According to the city’s website, the program has awarded more than $90,000 in grant funds and resulted in over $400,000 in private investment.

The city accepts applications three times per year, with an upcoming deadline of March 5. Applications can be turned in at Soldotna City Hall. More information about both grant programs, including a list of previous recipients with a before and after photo gallery, can be found on the City of Soldotna’s website at soldotna.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Traffic moves toward Sterling along the Sterling Highway shortly after the roadway reopened. A fatal crash closed the highway for several hours Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling Highway crash kills Soldotna boy

The accident closed a section of the Sterling Highway for several hours Wednesday.

A legislative aide enters the Alaska State Capitol as a worker clears snow from in front of the building on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House speaker announced on Wednesday, Feb. 24, that a House member had tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
House disrupted after positive COVID-19 test

Alaska House Republicans identified the lawmaker as Rep. Mike Cronk of Tok, a member of their caucus.

Dr. Anne Zink addresses members of the media during a remote press conference on Thursday, Feb. 25 in Alaska. (Screenshot)
Nearly 150,000 Alaskans are vaccinated; Dunleavy ‘doing well’

103,120 pairs of vaccine, or about 206,240 doses, were allocated to Alaska for the month of March.

The entrance to the Kenai Municipal Cemetery is seen on Thursday, Feb. 25 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai, Soldotna making headway on cemetery expansion

Both cities hope to complete expansion efforts this year

A sign describing bluff erosion is seen on Kenai North Beach in Kenai, Alaska, on Aug. 6, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai reiterates bluff importance in letter to state

The project would stabilize about 5,000 feet of bluff on the Kenai River’s north shore

A statue of Brother Asaiah rests under a protective wooden structure on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 outside KBBI Public Radio in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Statue of famed Homer local finds new home at public radio station

Brother Asaiah Bates statue had to move after previous location changed ownership

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Grocery incentive program goes live Monday in Kenai

The program aims to help people double the money they are able to spend on groceries and household goods

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at an Anchorage news conference on Dec. 11, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
Governor tests positive for virus

Dunleavy had been in quarantine since learning Sunday.

This undated map shows three wildlife enhancement projects on the southern Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, planned or done by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. (Map courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
3 projects on southern Kenai Peninsula aim to benefit moose habitat

Cut willow bushes will regenerate into higher protein browse for moose

Most Read