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Grant helps Laconia downtown initiative

October 31. 2013 10:07PM
From left: Main Street Initiative of Laconia President John Moriarty. Citizens Bank Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Reardon, and Carmen Lorentz, executive director of Belknap EDC stand on Main Street in Laconia. (COURTESY)

The Citizens Bank Foundation has provided $35,000 to the Main Street Initiative of Laconia as part of its Growing Communities initiative announced in September.

“Citizens’ Growing Communities initiative was established to help support and promote neighborhood-based programs that have a significant impact on communities across New Hampshire,” said Kathleen Reardon, senior vice president and director of public affairs, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire, in a news release.

Since 2012 Citizens has awarded $155,000 to neighborhood projects in Berlin, Manchester, Nashua and Laconia.

The Main Street Initiative of Laconia will provide matching grants of up to $5,000 to property and business owners inside the Beacon Street loop in the central downtown business district. The initiative will encourage businesses to make investments that beautify the downtown area, with the ultimate goal of decreasing vacancy rates and increasing consumer traffic.

“The façade improvement program will help local property and business owners grow their businesses and will contribute to the strength of the downtown,” said John Moriarty, president of the Main Street Initiative of Laconia.

Belknap Economic Development Council will provide additional resources and technical assistance to help business owners strengthen their operations. Belknap EDC offers a loan fund for Main Street businesses across Belknap County that can be used to meet matching requirements.

In addition, free business advisor services are available at Belknap EDC’s office to assist in project planning. Successful applicants must demonstrate that the façade-improvement project will enhance the appearance of the community, foster business growth and leverage additional resources.

Application packets are available online at, or at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce Office on South Main Street. Completed applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014.

Business Laconia