Grant money helps to spruce up some Region 8 businesses

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - "Anything that we can do to show off our community through our businesses, and show off our pride.  It's just great for Newport," said restaurant owner, Zack Curtner.

Many Newport businesses are showing off improvements to the outside of their shops--thanks in part to matching grants from the Newport Economic Development Commission.

"They know these times are a bit challenging, but they're hand in hand helping us out every step of the way," said Curtner.

Restaurant owner Zack Curtner says he was able to give some needed attention to the steeple roof on his restaurant--what he calls a facelift and fresh paint.

"If one store looks good, one business looks good, it makes the whole community look better," said Jamie Darling, owner of Darling's Fine Things.

Jamie Darling added awnings and other outside touch ups.  City officials say the NEDC matched the cost up to 25 hundred dollars for each store's project.  Darling says what the improvements do for the business and the community is worth far more.

"If you're appealing on the outside people definitely will stop and come in.  It's definitely provided and extra flare to the outside decor," said Darling.

Darling says these grants help show economic development dollars at work.

"It has definitely helped the community and has been put back into the community for businesses, existing businesses, to have a little boost," said Darling.

For restaurant owner Zack Curtner he says when buildings in a town are well kept, it's a reflection on the city.  He says these improvements aren't just for the businesses, they're for the city of Newport as well.

"Sometimes visitors passing through just have one opportunity to make that first impression," said Curtner.

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