A new idea for downtown Beaufort aims to help businesses get a fresh look for a bargain price.
Main Street Beaufort, USA hopes to entice at least eight businesses to buy new awnings and get a bulk-purchase discount, executive director LaNelle Fabian said.
A request for pricing has gone out to three awning companies willing to work for a discount, but the organization is also keeping an eye out for other companies that might be interested. Proposals are due Dec. 2.
Businesses that want a new awning will get the discount and free design services from an architect sent from the national Main Street offices, Fabian said.
The architect will arrive in January and will hold training and educational workshops for local businesses.
The Beaufort chapter of Main Street can use an architect free of charge for two projects a year.
"We just thought the awning project would be a good project to do instead of just doing one building, because it will look like downtown got a makeover," Fabian said.
Fabian didn't have a estimate for the cost of the project.
Main Street Beaufort and the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission also are trying to make empty storefronts more enticing for future enterprises. National Main Street has a poster campaign the Beaufort chapter wants to put its twist on.
The original posters say, "This building is not empty, it is full of potential."
City Councilman Mike Sutton suggested at a September Redevelopment Commission meeting that the theme should be more positive and avoid the word "empty."
The posters would go in windows of vacant stores and include a Quick Response code that people could scan with their smartphones to be directed to the Main Street website, which shows available downtown properties.
"This is just something to show, 'Yes, we have vacant buildings, but we care,' " Fabian said.
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http://www.lowcountrynewspapers.net/archive/node/152799#ixzz1dRJ7dQfp" target="_blank">Main Street honors businesses that make a difference, May 24, 2010