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Buckeye starting another cycle of Catalyst Program


BUCKEYE — A local grant program is again inviting Buckeye businesses to apply for funds to improve the appearance of storefronts and other elements.
Buckeye’s Catalyst Program is now open for 2022. The city will accept applications until 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.

The program won a regional award in 2015.

The Catalyst Program, run by Buckeye’s Economic Development Department, focuses on the redevelopment of existing buildings through private investments. Local businesses can apply for up to $50,000 in city funding to help expand, rehabilitate, beautify or enhance their landscaping or provide public parking or lighting.

After Economic Development reviews applications for appropriateness and merit, staff decide which projects to submit to mayor and council for approval.

Last November, the Buckeye City Council approved two businesses for the grant.

Calvert Oil received $33,500 to complete an exterior painting project on several buildings and 11 gas storage tanks and associated piping.

Alatrash Investments LLC, received $50,000 from the city to help develop a parking area behind the historic Ware Building in downtown Buckeye along Monroe Avenue. Alatrash tripled that investment, putting in about $150,000 toward rehabbing the area in the form of paving, sidewalks, approaches, storm drains and other associated parking items.

The city received four applications in the 2021 cycle.

After a review, only the Calvert Oil and Alatrash applications were recommended for approval.
The total annual budget the city has allocated to the program is $250,000, so potentially, five businesses could be selected.

Any existing Buckeye business can apply for the grant. However, business owners must also put some money into the proposed project. Reimbursement is provided after the business successfully completes the project and submits the required documents.

Interested business owners can download and review the detailed program guide and application from Buckeye’s Economic Development website, GrowBuckeye.com.

The program, in its eighth year, has been used to fund 37 projects, using $670,000 in taxpayer funds. The city says the combined public-private investment is $1.6 million, meaning almost $1 million in matching business owner funds were spent on the 37 projects.

Fees can be included, but only those fees associated with a project that serves a public purpose. These properties must already have applicable zoning or be rezoned before being eligible.

Buckeye business owners who want to learn more about the Catalyst Program can visit growbuckeye.com/catalyst-program.