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Neighbors of Kane County

Aurora Downtown Gives $40K in Small Business Grants

Aurora Downtown approved small business grants totaling nearly $40,000 this week. The announcement serves as a bellwether that downtown businesses are ready for post-pandemic growth.

Aurora Downtown, the nonprofit group that oversees the downtown Special Service Area, will distribute grant funds to 13 businesses.

Aurora Downtwn’s Business Attraction and Retention (BAR) Committee offered a variety of small business grants of up to $5,000 to downtown businesses. The group announced the grants in February, and businesses had until May 1 to apply. 

 The 2021 BAR grants will go towards awnings, signage, building improvements, and marketing efforts. Recipients include The Yetee, Wyckwood House, The Riverfront Playhouse, Endiro Coffee, QT3 Fitness, Heath Holding LLC, JH Real Estate Partners, The Perch, Payton’s Photography, Aurora Historical Society, Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Fox Valley Music Foundation, and Kathryn’s Place.

 Some of the projects include theater soundproofing at The Riverfront Playhouse, jazz concerts hosted by The Venue at Mundy Park, a safety exhibit at the fire museum, new signage identifying occupants Aurora Public Art and Aurora Historical Society at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, and a free rejuvenation day at The Perch. 

 Most recently, the BAR committee has funded such projects as new awnings at La Quinta de los Reyes and The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange and new signage and flooring at AKA Dance. 

 “The programs and improvements reflect the downtown’s historic identity, diverse art and music scene, and overall strength as a business community. We are excited for everyone to see the revitalization efforts,” said Kristine Walker, Aurora Downtown board member who serves on the BAR committee.

 Photo credit: Amy Jackson, The Perch