Spring is a great time to spruce up our streets — and our storefronts

Published 10:00 am Monday, April 4, 2016

Over the next few weeks, many city residents will be taking advantage of the springtime weather to freshen up their lawn and do some overdue maintenance work to their homes.

While typically associated with homeowners, this annual spring cleaning routine applies to owners of downtown storefronts as well.

Be it washing windows, bricks or signage, a little bit of attention paid by business owners to keeping the aesthetics of their business up to par can capture a lot of attention from potential customers — especially as weather improves and more and more people begin strolling down the sidewalks.

Of course, while simple maintenance can go a long way, a major overhaul to the appearance of one’s storefront can have a major impact for a very long time.

With that in mind, the Downtown Developmental Authority is once again encouraging local business owners to participate in its Facade Incentive
& Architectural Design Services Program. The program offers financial assistance to business owners who renovate their storefronts, using $10,000 worth of funds set aside by the Dowagiac City Council.

During the last several years, several establishments have taken advantage of this program, including Curves, Jeff Neumann’s Farm Bureau Insurance, Shabby Bou-Chic and Smoke Vision Care. Right now Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center is receiving renovation work through the program, with work expected to conclude later this spring.

We’re glad to see the recently reinstated program continue to have success in improving our already strong downtown business district.

The aesthetics of Dowagiac downtown’s have always been one of the city’s strengths, contributing to its comeback many years ago. The Victorian-style buildings have created a great atmosphere for those who visit the district to shop, eat and even live — ensuring that storefronts continue to keep up this standard will be vital in maintaining the downtown’s positive image.

It is great to see to the partnership between city leaders and business officials continue as well. It was through the creation of the DDA and the incentive program 27 years ago that the downtown was able to bounce back, and today that partnership keeps going strong, with leaders continuing to choose to invest in the future of the area.

We encourage businesses to participate in the program.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.