Small Business, Big Grants

Published 06/13 2014 04:28PM

Updated 06/13 2014 05:10PM

It's a major makeover at some of the most familiar businesses in Evansville.

Seven small business owners will get thousands of dollars to revitalize core parts of the city.

It's federal money given to the city of Evansville, and the businesses will split the $200,000 grant.

"Very, very, very excited to say the least," says Amy Word owner of Lamasco Bar & Grill.

Lamasco Bar & Grill will get $50,000 to help remodel the entrance and expand the back. That will push owner Amy Word, closer to fulfilling her wish list, which includes restoring some of the building's history.

"I'm taking it back to some of the original colors that the building would have originally had when it was built in the late 1800s, its great," says Word.

Others getting cash include; Zuki Japanese Restaurant, Kirby's Private Dinning, Piece of Cake, DiLegge's Restaurant, Goldman's Pawn Shop, and Bokeh Lounge,

"We cant wait to put it to use," says Bokeh owner Mike Millard. He's also received $50,000 to help with his plans.

"There will be more space, a nicer band area away from the front door, we're putting an entrance off of Washington as well, so access will be nice and more facilities," says Millard.

Twenty-four businesses applied, and the city narrowed it down based on their proposals. The proposals needed to prove the money will boost, not only the businesses vibrancy, but its surrounding neighborhood. Another stipulation, owners also needed to show they'll be investing more than just grant money.

"The goal is really quite simple, that's to promote job growth, and assist business owners in revitalizing and boosting our neighborhoods," says Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.

"You cant do it alone. We all do this together. To have the city backing you, not just being a cheerleader, but putting the money where the mouth is so to speak , it's a huge thing for us," says Word.

Word says she hopes to break ground on her project in a few weeks. Other business owners say they too are ready to put the grant to use, and soon.

"Big things can happen, and big things are going to happen in our little city," says Word.

In the case one of these business owners would have to back out on their project, city leaders selected three alternatives for the grant money.

Those alternatives are Scott Danks Law Office, the former EVSC building, and Garvin Industrial Park


The Facade Grant Program Recipients for Spring/Summer 2014:

Lamasco Bar & Grill

Project Total: $120,000

Grant: $50,000

Zuki Japanese Restaurant

Project Total: $120,000

Grant: $ 50,000

Bokeh Lounge

Project Total: $100,000

Grant: $50,000

Kirby's Private Dinning

Project Total: $75,000

Grant: $ 37,500

Piece of Cake

Project Total: $13,500

Grant: $6,750

DiLegge's Restaurant

Project Total: $12,857

Grant: $ 2,857

Goldman's Pawn Shop

Project Total: $5,785

Grant: $ 2,893

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