Grant to help Downtown Paragould see improvements

Grant to help Downtown Paragould to see improvements

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - Downtown Paragould has been hustling and bustling with business and now $25,000 in grant money could help bring in more crowds, officials said Thursday.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program donated the grant money to be split in two ways - $15,000 will be spent on downtown building improvements while $10,000 will go toward COVID relief.

Main Street Paragould Executive Director Gina Jarrett calls it Downtown Revitalization Money or DTR Money.

The DTR money will be put back on the street and help with painting, signage, and more.

The money going toward COVID will purchase reusable masks, hand sanitizing stations, and social distancing spots in stores.

She said these improvements are good timing for downtown before the Christmas shopping begins.

“There are benefits to being small. Fewer employees, smaller square footage, our owners know their shoppers, know their diners. We’re doing everything possible to create a safe, healthy environment,” she said.

Jarrett explained this hasn’t been done yet due to cost prohibitions for small businesses.

This money is distributed to businesses through an application process. Eleven businesses have applied for the downtown building improvements, while 19 businesses applied for the COVID relief money.

She said they will spread the money around to make the biggest impact downtown.

Jarrett said all business owners who applied should hear soon whether or not they will officially receive the funding.

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