Small businesses grant could change the face of downtown Olathe - KCTV5 News

Small businesses grant could change the face of downtown Olathe

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Walking around downtown Olathe, many will see some of the storefronts need a little TLC. The buildings there are older, and now the city wants to lend a hand and help businesses spruce up. (KCTV5) Walking around downtown Olathe, many will see some of the storefronts need a little TLC. The buildings there are older, and now the city wants to lend a hand and help businesses spruce up. (KCTV5)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

Walking around downtown Olathe, many will see some of the storefronts need a little TLC.

The buildings there are older, and now the city wants to lend a hand and help businesses spruce up.  

“This is really the heart of the community down here," said Harleigh Ellsworth, owner of Kansas Coffee Café, a popular place to grab a coffee before heading to work in the morning. “I’m proud to have a business down here. I'm proud to have a home down here, but it would be so nice if our atmosphere was lovely as well, as well as our infrastructure and our storefronts.”

That’s what the city is trying to accomplish. They have a new assistance program.

It’s set up to be a matching grant where the city of Olathe can contribute up to 50 percent of the cost of eligible improvements up to $10,000. That means small business owners can think about improvements they couldn’t do before.

“Having an older building in downtown Olathe has definitely been a struggle. We have certain elements of our building that we want to improve so that we are more accessible to everybody," Ellsworth said.

The grant is strictly for work done on the outside -- the things that people visiting or walking by will notice to liven up the entire downtown area.

Harleigh said this new program will help the city bring people back downtown.

"It’s such a beautiful area, rich in history, rich in community, rich in diversity that I think its time we pay some attention to living it back up and sprucing it back up," Ellsworth said.

Businesses do need to put in an application. They can do that until April 2.

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