CHESTERTON | Eleven local businesses will get a new look thanks to grants distributed by the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber recently awarded $20,000 in grants to improve the exterior of the businesses with funding from Duneland Economic Development Co.
"It was a tough process," said Shem Khalil, facade committee member. "We got 23 great applications. I wish we had enough money to do them all."
Chamber executive director Heather Ennis said the two groups took on the project to spark excitement among businesses in the Duneland communities.
"Improvement encourages more improvement," she said. "We're encouraging the businesses to take pride in ownership."
Ennis said committee members considered the location of businesses when choosing recipients, hoping to see dramatic results along some of the main streets and gateways in Chesterton and Porter.
She said improvements must be made by Nov. 1.
The grant recipients are Pat's Liquors, Hiestand Law Office, Brainstorm Computers Inc., Octave Grill, Auction Bay Online, Bluestem Beads, L.J. Chop Houses, Bennett Real Estates building on the corner of Broadway and Second Street, Kay Gersna's building on the corner of Broadway and Second, Ashley's Jewelry by Design and Tilden Enterprises.
"We will continue to look for funding sources and hope that this will be the first of many facade grant cycles," said Mark Chamberlain, president of the Duneland Economic Development Co. "The more we can enhance the appearance of the Duneland community the better it is for all businesses."