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Saturday, March 5, 2011

PA Wilds offers grants to help businesses with new signage

PA Wilds offers grants to help businesses with new signage

A popular mini-grant program that helps businesses in the Pennsylvania Wilds region pay for new business signage has re-opened and is accepting applications through April 15.

The PA Wilds Business Signage Grants are designed to encourage businesses in the Pennsylvania Wilds to improve their prospects – and the look and feel of their communities – by utilizing the Pennsylvania Wilds Design Guide in the creation and construction of new signage.

The Design Guide is a voluntary planning document that highlights how communities in the region can protect or enhance their rural character as they grow – whether that growth is due to tourism, drilling or other industries. It promotes such things as using natural materials or themes the region is known for – wood, stone, water, wildlife – in construction, design or landscaping.

“The region’s rural and historic character and strong sense of place is part of what makes the Pennsylvania Wilds attractive to visitors and residents, so it is important for us to be good stewards of these characteristics as we grow,” said PA Wilds Planning Team Chair Matt Quesenberry, of Elk County. “Part of our job as the Planning Team is to give our communities tools to accomplish this. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Design Guide and our related grant programs.”

The Design Guide and Business Signage Grants are part of a larger Design Assistance Program that this year also includes design grants and community signage grants. The Planning Team hopes to roll out those two grant programs in coming months. Watch the E-Update for details!

Last year’s Design Assistance Program led to the creation of 27 new business signs and community welcome signs around the region. It leveraged nearly $30,000 in private investment, and helped businesses improve their bottom lines.

“The Design Assistance Program not only helps our businesses and communities be more viable, it also helps us brand the region, raise awareness about the Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative, and gives us an opportunity to talk with our communities about why good design and planning are critical to our region’s long-term economic success,” Quesenberry said. “It works on a lot of levels.”

The Business Signage Grants are made possible by funding from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Growing Greener Program and program management support by Lumber Heritage Region. Up to $1,500 is available for each Business Signage Grant; a dollar-for-dollar match is required. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2011. The process is competitive.

Guidelines and applications are available under “Hot Topics” on the homepage of the PA Wilds Resource Center at www.PAwildsResources.org. A free copy of the Design Guide can also be downloaded or ordered from the site; just go to the “About PA Wilds” tab. Good luck!

Calling all artisans and arts-related businesses

The PA Wilds Artisan Workgroup is now accepting applications for its spring jury session for artisans or arts-related businesses that would like to join the PA Wilds Artisan Trail. The spring application deadline is April 15.

Artisans accepted through the jury process will become part of a network of dozens of galleries and artisans from across the region. The overall goal of the network is to improve the visibility and profitability of those involved. Benefits include business development workshops; use of the “Made the in the Pennsylvania Wilds” branding on products; a presence on the www.PAwildsArtisans.com website; online and print marketing efforts and more. For more information and instructions on how to apply, go to www.pawildsresources.org and click on “Artisans.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah thats what we need new signs!Notice it says a dollar for dollar match!