BIG grant applications are now being accepted

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Qualified owners of commercial and/or commercial property in Opelousas can now apply for building improvement grants through the Building Improvement Grant (BIG). Launched in 2021, the BIG program is an initiative to help real estate and business owners improve their buildings. The grant program is made possible through a partnership of the City of Opelousas, the Opelousas Downtown Development District and Opelousas Main Street. The aim of the BIG program is to preserve the city’s historical identity and cultural values ​​while stimulating local investment.

“This local grant program, along with the investments from business owners, is a win for our businesses, downtown and our city,” Mayor Julius Alsandor said. “It’s also a way to prioritize our efforts to revitalize the downtown district,” he told Opelousa Mayor Julius Alsandor.

The BIG is a reimbursement grant and award amounts must be matched dollar for dollar by the recipient. An applicant can apply for a grant project from $500 to $5000; However, the business and/or property owner must spend at least the same amount on the project. This year, the Opelousas Downtown Development District provided $20,000 in grant funding.

“The BIG initiative has proven to be a great success for the city of Opelousas and the business community,” said Lena Charles, Chairwoman of the Downtown District. “The ODDD welcomes the grant recipients and their investment in their businesses and the local economy, and we also appreciate the partnership with Opelousas Main Street and the City of Opelousas as this collaborative effort resulted in BIG initial investments.”

Last year, a total of $10,000 in matching grants was awarded to five local businesses whose grant projects totaled just over $100,000. “Not only is this grant program helpful for business and property owners, but it’s also having a real impact on the look and feel of our downtown area,” said Melanie Lebouef, Main Street Director.

Some of the work that owners may request includes restoration of building features such as windows, awnings (without signage), masonry and interior work related to walls, floor and ceiling repairs, and plumbing work, among others. For more information on the scholarship, call 337-948-1391. Applications for funding must be submitted by June 1, 2022.

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