Alton Main Street Announces Façade Improvement Grant Program

Alton Main Street
111 E. 4th Street – Suite 315
Alton, IL  62002
Phone: (618)-463-1016

Jared D Unfried and and Jenny Unfried at Alton Music Exchange.

(20 October 2020 – Alton, IL Press Release) Alton Main Street is excited to launch the second round of its Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) Program. This initiative is designed to assist property and business owners in Downtown Alton with rehabilitating the facades of their buildings for the purpose of creating a positive visual impact, stimulating private investment, and complementing other community development efforts.

The Fall 2020 round of grants will specifically target projects to replace or rehabilitate commercial signage. $1,000 in funding is available, and Alton Main Street will be awarding up to five grants. Grants are required to have a 1:1 match. This program is being made possible by a generous sponsorship from First Mid Bank & Trust. As an added incentive, Godfrey-based company Arrow Signs has offered a 5% discount to any applicant who would like to utilize their production and installation services.

Interested property owners as well as tenants with owner’s permission are eligible for the program. In order to be eligible for the FIG Program, buildings must be located within the Alton Main Street district boundary, bordered roughly by Landmarks Blvd., William Street, Belle St., 9th Street, Piasa Street, and Broadway to Pearl Street. The deadline to apply is November 15th, grant recipients will be announced on November 30th, and projects must be completed by March 31st.

AME before and after the upgrades.

Steve Goetten, Commercial Lender with First Mid Bank & Trust, stated, “First Mid is very proud to be part of this program. It’s exciting to see local businesses have an opportunity to improve their business fronts and bring improvements to the area. Providing full-service banking in downtown Alton and partnering with Alton Main Street to help revitalize this historic area are both examples of our long-term commitment to this community.”

Research has shown that exterior building improvements result in an increase in sales. Additionally, improvements motivate owners and tenants of other properties in surrounding areas to make similar investments. “The organization’s goal is to provide an incentive that encourages improvements to building exteriors which are visible from public streets and sidewalks,” said John Gajewski, Chair of Alton Main Street’s Economic Vitality Committee.

Alton Music Exchange, one of the recipients of the spring round of FIG grants, utilized the funding toward the purchase of a new awning, open flag, flower pots, window graphics, and repairing the door and light of their location at 556 E. Broadway.

Guiding design principles for rehabilitation and renovation activities within the Downtown district are available to help business and property owners make sound investment decisions in building improvements while enhancing the area’s historic character.

To download an application, please visit, and click “Doing Business” then “Resources”. For more information or please Alton Main Street at (618) 463-1016 or

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Alton Main Street – engaging our community in the continued renewal of our historic downtown district and Mississippi River heritage by cultivating an attractive center of economic and social activity.

Alton Music Exchange logo via AME Facebook.

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