ENID, Okla. — As downtown continues to grow, so does the impact of Main Street Enid’s facade grants for the area’s beautification.

Main Street Enid just launched its annual History Makers Campaign for small business facade renovations. The Main Street campaign supports Enid in the restoration and revitalization of commercial business fronts in the downtown.

This year, funds raised will be tripled by Edward Jones and the Enid Regional Development Alliance, matching the first $5,000 and turning Main Street’s goal of $5,000 into $15,000 for the facade projects. Deadline for donations to count toward matching funds is Dec. 31.

Grant recipientsAfter canceling last year’s campaign due to COVID-19, Family Martial Arts was the first grant recipient of 2021. They were awarded $10,000 for facade renovations, using the funds to repaint their exterior and install new windows, said Justin Deal, head instructor and co-manager of Family Martial Arts.

“Those windows were a really big step to make the building look better,” Deal said. “I feel like that has really helped our presence downtown as far as notoriety goes.”

The FMA building was formerly white, black and red, but now boasts a classic red brick appearance over all over the building. He said the combination of new paint and windows created a cohesive, clean, new look.

The next business set to receive funds from the Competitive Facade Grant is Gaslight Theatre — for their Turpin Theatre — with projections to be completed by the end of the year.

“Uncovering original facades allows all of us to enjoy the historic look of our beautiful buildings, opening boarded-up windows adds new life, repainting with appropriate colors helps preserve the historic integrity and awnings add shade for increased walkability,” stated Main Street Enid’s website, in reference to the History Makers Campaign.

About the grantsAs History Maker Campaign donations are received, grants are made available. The ongoing grants of up to $2,500 are for smaller renovations and awning improvement, including window replacements and paint jobs.

Priority is given to projects that have a significant visual impact, active business use and historical integrity.

“Any grant that a business can get, they should try to apply for it,” Deal said.

“That is only an improvement upon the business. No grant is a bad grant. If you can get one, do it. The nicer we make downtown, the more people will want to be around and do things here.”

Main Street’s facade improvement historyWhen Main Street Enid was formed in 1994, leaders say one of its most impactful accomplishments was facade renovations. As Main Street began work improving upon downtown, West Randolph underwent drastic changes.

Since MSE’s inception, there have been over $67 million spent in private reinvestments downtown. From building purchases to facade renovations, Enid’s downtown has become the place to be, and presents itself as a growing arts and entertainment district.

History Maker Campaign donors have funded 12 facade renovations totaling $19,410 since 2017. Main Street has also given $11,900 to ongoing projects.

Individual donors can give $100 or more per year to the campaign and other sponsorship and partnership opportunities are also available. They invite people to become a History Maker by visiting MainStreetEnid.org/HistoryMakers or email web@mainstreetenid.org.

Main Street Enid’s stated mission is preserving and developing the downtown district through diverse partnerships as they attempt to enhance the quality of life to make Enid a destination community.

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Jeanne is a reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. 
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Kat? Send an email to kjeanne@enidnews.com.

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