Downtown Network Heber Springs recently awarded its first Building Improvement Grant for merchants in the downtown historic commercial district, awarding the grant to Dreamweaver Children’s Shoppe located at 216 W. Main Street. The competitive grant application process was available to downtown merchants for signage, awnings, or storefront improvements. Store owner Brenda Dillon applied for the grant money to assist in the repainting of the store front, and work was completed on April 9. She said, “We are so grateful for the Downtown Network’s help to freshen up the store front. Not only does it improve our building, but these types of improvements help brighten up the whole downtown area, and that benefits everyone.”

Downtown Network Executive Director Kathy Phillips said, “These grants are made possible through funds received from our parent organization, Main Street Arkansas, which is a program of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Their focus is on not only promoting our downtown areas, but also preserving the character of our historic buildings. We are proud to be able to help in the beautification and preservation of our downtown, and to help our small business owners in the process.”

In addition to the improvements made to the storefront of Dreamweaver Children’s Shoppe, the Downtown Network has recently been busy working with the Kickstart Quality of Life Committee to add to other beautification efforts downtown. The addition of new planters recently placed along the north side of Main Street across from the courthouse, as well as the maintenance of other existing greenspace along Main Street, are just two of the beautification efforts already begun for this spring and summer. “Expect to see other improvements and beautification efforts coming soon,” said Kathy Phillips. “We have a lot of plans that are going to make some impressive changes going forward. In addition to our own projects, Downtown Network is thrilled to be able to work alongside the Quality of Life Committee to build on the charm that makes our downtown area so special, to locals and tourists alike.”