Buckeye, Ariz. (Sept. 10, 2015) – Joe Blanton of Millstone Café says the improvements to his restaurant would not have been possible without the financial and professional assistance of Buckeye’s Economic Development Catalyst Program. Rick Wennberg of Buckeye Hometown Truevalue feels the program is working and “making Buckeye beautiful.” And Buckeye Economic Development Director Len Becker emphasized that while the city is now accepting applications for the rehabilitation/expansion program, the deadline for those applications is Thursday, Oct. 1. Becker explained that the program offers up to $25,000 for existing Buckeye businesses who are seeking to expand, rehabilitate their building, beautify their streetscape or provide public amenities such as landscaping, public parking or lighting. He recommended that interested businesses should download and review the detailed program guide and applications for the program from the City of Buckeye’s website www.buckeyeaz.gov or the City’s Economic Development website www.growbuckeye.com.
“This information will help them determine their possible eligibility for the program,” Becker said. “Staff along with community groups such as the Buckeye Main Street Coalition and others will begin reviewing applications as they are received to determine those that are eligible to begin the process.” Through last year’s program, Rancheros Rodeo in Buckeye was awarded reimbursements for new lighting on the front and side of the restaurant. “Working with the City was easy and the program ran smooth,” said owner Luzendi Ruelas. Wennberg was pleased with the reimbursements he received through the catalyst program for new landscaping and façade building improvements at his hardware store. “My overall experience with the City’s Catalyst Program was great,” Wennberg said. “I would recommend that any Buckeye business that has the opportunity to apply, do it. The program is working . . . “ And Blanton also would “highly recommend” businesses throughout the city apply for the catalyst funding to help them afford upgrades like the ones to his patio and outdoor dining area that he said “would not have been possible without the grant from the City. “The City of Buckeye’s Economic Development Department staff was extremely helpful and encouraging throughout the process,” Blanton said. “We are extremely thankful to the Mayor and City Council who have made this Catalyst Program available. “Improvements to existing businesses will help to revitalize the area, which is good for everyone!” Becker said that several other Buckeye businesses were pleased with the assistance from last year’s catalyst program, including the Buckeye Funeral Home, La Placita Cafe, the Buckeye Valley News, and the Carneceria Y Taqueria Durango. Becker explained that the $100,000 budgeted for the program this fiscal year would give qualifying Buckeye businesses the leverage and support they need to improve their place of business and as a result, provide additional sales tax revenues and job growth for the City. The core components of the program include the rehabilitation of existing commercial, industrial or mixed use properties by offering up to $25,000 toward improvement costs which must be matched at 25 percent by the applicant. All commercial, industrial or mixed-use properties located within the municipal boundaries of the City of Buckeye are eligible to apply. The improvements could include building expansions, renovations, permanent landscaping, parking facilities, code compliance remediation and other improvements to enhance the growth of existing businesses. Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck said the catalyst program has had a positive impact on the city, its retail and commercial business owners and Buckeye residents. “It’s only human nature that when things around you improve, you feel better and more confident in your ability to provide services to residents and visitors,” Meck said. “It’s wonderful to see the pluses that have resulted from business owners and the city joining forces to make Buckeye beautiful.” While the application period for the catalyst program ends Oct. 1, that deadline may be extended depending on funding requests received during that timeframe. For more information about the Economic Development Catalyst Program, contact Economic Development Management Assistant Tennille Hiller, 623-349-6973 or firstname.lastname@example.org.