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KCCI secretary Paula Greenwood and president Damien Martoo at the Façade Improvement grants cheque handover at the KCCI Hub in Kingaroy on Tuesday … from left, Paula Greenwood, Sheena Lindholm (Push Pull Marketing), KCCI Executive member Chrys McDuffie, Shae Alexander (Freeman Estates), Damien Martoo, Jan Thorp (Thorps Showcase Jewellers), James Bredhauer (Aussie Land and Livestock), SBRC Community Development co-ordinator Margie Hams, Clem Smith (LJ Hooker), and Annette Ivins and Wendy Elford (Kingaroy Home Aids)

Kingaroy businesses will receive about $74,000 in grants under the joint Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry / South Burnett Regional Council Façade Improvement grant scheme.

Cheques for Kingaroy’s Round 2 recipients were handed out at the KCCI’s Hub in Kingaroy Street on Tuesday morning.

Under the scheme, applicants had to apply, meet certain criteria, be approved and agree to a dollar-for-dollar funding arrangement.

KCCI president Damien Martoo said the business association began investigating a façade improvement scheme as far back as 2020, and then learned at a Small Business conference in 2021 that most other local councils operated such a program.

The KCCI approached the South Burnett Regional Council and together they applied successfully for a Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grant to fund a scheme for Kingaroy which Council could also extend to other parts of the South Burnett.

A total pool of $300,000 was made available across two rounds, later extended to three.

Improvements to frontages could include lighting, exterior walls, windows and doors, storefronts, awnings/canopies, signage, exterior architectural features, exterior painting, reinstatement of historical features of the building or increased accessibility to shop fronts.

The KCCI handled submissions from Kingaroy businesses, while Council handled applications from other towns.

Under Round 1, $9900 was distributed to Kingaroy businesses.

Round 2 received 40 applications from Kingaroy businesses or building owners; 25 have now been approved totalling $58,061.74 with more awaiting final confirmation, taking the Round 2 total to $67,750.84.

Damien said he couldn’t wait to see what the buildings would look like after their makeovers.

“This place is going to look schmick,” he said.

Damien said four applications which had failed had been outside the approved “footprint” for the Kingaroy scheme; the owners had been advised to apply to Council under Round 3 which is open to all South Burnett businesses.

The KCCI’s part in the Façade Improvement project is now over, but Council is inviting applications for Round 3 until 5:00pm on June 9.

For more information, contact the SBRC’s Community Development Team on (07) 4189-9100.