Downtown Frederick Partnership is thrilled to announce the awardees for the fifth Mission: Interior matching grant program – Artisinal Hair, Cucina Massi, Frederick Coffee Company & Café, Hometown Harvest Kitchen, Idiom Brewing Company, North Market Pop Shop, Pretzel & Pizza Creations, Smoketown Creekside and The Tasting Room.
Mission: Interior’s purpose is to assist in making critical interior capital repairs that will make the downtown retail business community more successful overall. The program offers up to $5,000 in matching grant funds for interior improvements to eligible retail businesses.
In response to COVID-19, the Partnership increased the Mission: Interior program’s funding from $20,000 to $40,000 and removed the match requirement in order to assist more businesses during this difficult time. By removing the match requirement, business owners could apply for up to 100% of the cost of their improvement project, up to $5,000. These changes are in place for the 2020 grant cycle only.
For the Spring 2020 grant round, a total of 20 businesses applied, requesting more than $85,000 in grant funds — a $50,000 increase in funding requests over 2019.
In response to the highly competitive applications received this year, the Partnership has awarded a total of $40,000 in grant funds to nine downtown businesses.
While not required, awardees are providing a total match of more than $95,000 in interior building investments. 55% of the selected applicants are investing at least 50% cash match into their project. Last year, awardees provided a total match of $123,000. In 2018, matches totaled $131,000, in 2017 they totaled $40,000 and in 2016 awardees provided a total match of $110,000.
To date, the Mission: Interior program has awarded more than $126,000 to downtown businesses and has helped to spark investments of more than $593,000 in interior building improvements throughout Downtown Frederick.
This Year’s Planned Projects
Artisinal Hair, 342 N Market St
Expanding their salon area with the addition of six new stylist workstations on the second floor; Additional projects include installing new HVAC, updated electric, improved plumbing and new ceiling tiles, as well as stair improvements, drywall repair and painting: $5,000 grant
Cucina Massi, 111 E Patrick St
After 33 years of business as Nido’s Little Italy Ristorante, 111 E Patrick St came under new ownership in 2019; The restaurant’s entire second floor has been remodeled, including installation of a new bar, cabinetry, flooring, reconfiguration of partition walls, electrical, plumbing, interior painting and bathroom renovation: $5,000 grant
Frederick Coffee Company & Café, 100 N East St
Upgrading air conditioning system, refinishing the wood floor, replacing drop ceiling and light fixtures, painting the interior and installing a new interior door: $5,000 grant
Hometown Harvest Kitchen, 50 Citizens Way, Suite 101
Expanding restaurant bar in order to accommodate more people and host larger events: $3,000 grant
Idiom Brewing Company, 340 E Patrick St, Suites 104 & 105
Upgrading HVAC system and electrical work in newly rented additional space: $5,000 grant
North Market Pop Shop, 239-241 N Market St
Expanding business by opening a party wall between two buildings, installing HVAC, electrical, plumbing, new flooring, interior painting and installing shelving, counters, tables and other necessary fixtures: $5,000 grant
Pretzel & Pizza Creations, 210 N Market St
Replacing non-historic wood paneling with new wood paneling and installing a new tile floor: $2,000 grant
Smoketown Creekside, 400 Sagner Ave
Expanding restrooms in order to better handle the influx of customers during events and weekends: $5,000 grant
The Tasting Room, 101 N Market St
Painting interior walls, replacing booths and shelving, enclosing the vestibule, removing the mirrors on an interior wall and adding a custom wood wall with vertical garden: $5,000 grant
About Mission: Interior
Applications were reviewed by the Partnership’s Business Development Committee and ranked on criteria including longer lease periods, business tenure, projects that expand the services offered by the business, geographic diversity and projects that improve and/or restore an interior historic feature. The six awardees were funded a total of $40,000 in grant dollars.
Mission: Interior is an expansion of a pilot program offered in 2015 to the downtown merchant community. Due to the popular response to the pilot offering, the Partnership worked together with the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development in 2016 to apply for State of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development funds to make the program a more permanent and significant offering to address identified needs.
Since its first year as an established grant program, Mission: Interior has provided grant dollars to fund interior improvement projects at 31 downtown businesses. This grant program has had a tangible impact in the Downtown Frederick business community and the partners hope to continue to receive State of Maryland support in future years.
“The Partnership is thrilled with the merchant response to Mission: Interior,” said Kara Norman, Partnership Executive Director. “We can’t wait to see the finished results and the impact the positive changes will have on the Downtown Frederick business community.”