Matching grants available for business façade improvements in downtown Greenville

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GREENVILLE — The Northern Forest Center, in partnership with the Moosehead Lake Brand Leadership Team (BLT), is offering matching grants of up $2,000 to support downtown façade improvements by Greenville businesses and business property owners.

The façade improvement program is part of the center’s Tourism Innovation Program which offers larger matching grants to help tourism-related businesses in the Moosehead and Katahdin Iron Works areas implement new product and business innovations.

The Greenville selectmen recently adopted a new Downtown Greenville Master Plan, and the façade improvement program is designed to kick-start implementation of the plan’s recommendations by offsetting the cost of business improvements such as blade signs, exterior painting, window boxes, shutters, landscaping, decorative lighting (night-sky friendly, non-neon), etc.

“The downtown planning and beautification sub-committee of the BLT is charged with the task of improving and enhancing all aspects of downtown Greenville, which serves as the ‘front lawn’ to Moosehead Lake,” said Ruth McLaughlin, chair of the committee and owner of the Blair Hill Inn in Greenville. “We couldn’t be more excited to be working with the Northern Forest Center to help businesses make improvements that will help their bottom line, and improve the whole visitor experience in the Moosehead region.”

The Moosehead area has been identified by the center and the Maine Woods Consortium as a high potential rural destination area where strategic investments in destination tourism development can create new economic opportunity by attracting new visitors, new businesses, and new residents.

“The Moosehead area has real potential to be a world-class travel destination,” said Mike Wilson, senior program director for the Northern Forest Center. “Improving the look of the downtown will make it more appealing for visitors to spend time and money at local businesses. It’s a timely and affordable step to achieving the goals that people in the Moosehead area have set for themselves, and we’re excited to be able to help.”

To be eligible for grant funding, projects must meet the façade improvement criteria outlined in the Downtown Greenville Master Plan. Preference will be given to projects within the downtown “triangle” identified as a priority in the plan. Other projects will be considered if funds are available. Approved projects must be completed by July.

To learn more, or to get an application, business owners should contact: Mike Wilson, Northern Forest Center at or (603)-731-0558, or Ruth McLaughlin. downtown planning committee chair at or 695-0224.

Applications must be submitted by April 1 to Ruth McLaughlin, P.O. Box 1288, Greenville, ME 04441 or emailed to

All eligible applications will be forwarded to the Northern Forest Center for final review. Funding decisions will be made by the center by April 20. Upon completion of an awarded project, receipts reflecting the total cost for the approved project must be submitted to the center for 50 percent reimbursement, up to $2,000.

Funding for the Tourism Innovation Program is made possible by a federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing, facilitated by the center, of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Maine Woods Initiative. The Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation and JP Morgan Chase provided capital and tax credit authority for the NMTC financing.

The Northern Forest Center is a nonprofit organization that builds economic and community vitality while fostering sound forest stewardship across the Northern Forest of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

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