The City of Soldotna now has two Storefront Improvement Programs. In addition to the traditional storefront program which provides matching grants for the physical improvement to building facades, the City has added a “Virtual” storefront program to assist local businesses build and maintain websites. The virtual program seeks to expand the marketplace for local goods and services by assisting businesses develop or expand their online presence. The City will contribute 75% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $1000. Guidelines and applications are now available for the Virtual Storefront Program.
The City of Soldotna’s traditional Storefront Improvement Program provides a municipal matching grant - up to $7,500 - for exterior business remodels in our commercial districts. The remainder of this webpage is dedicated to the original storefront program which was created in 2012. The program seeks to encourage private investment in the downtown commercial areas; and to beautify the Sterling and Kenai Spur Highway corridors.
How to Apply
For information about the program and types of projects that are eligible, please see our brochure [PDF] and the full program guidelines [PDF]. Read the program guidelines to make sure your project is eligible; fill out an application [PDF] with as much detail as possible, and attach additional drawings or photos to help describe your project; turn the application in at City Hall. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and the City typically funds 2-3 projects per year.
See the Results
To date, the program has awarded approximately $88,065 in grant funds to projects and has leveraged more than $414,016 of private investment in our downtown. Check out our project gallery [PDF], with the full list of completed projects with before and after photos!
Soldotna’s Storefront Improvement Program Wins State Planning Award
The City of Soldotna’s Storefront Improvement Program won the ‘Best Practices’ award at the inaugural state planning awards banquet, held at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage on November 13th, 2012. See the full list of winners [PDF].
The Alaska Chapter of the American Planning Association sponsored the event, which recognized six planners and projects from around the state for their contributions in making Alaskan communities stronger through planning.“This is a great example of how the planning process can improve our communities, “ said Maryellen Tuttell, AICP, President of the Alaska Chapter of the American Planning Association. “You often hear that plans just ‘sit on the shelf’ and it is nice to see when something from a comprehensive plan is put into action and makes a difference.”