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Grant program draws new restaurants, shops to Tarpon Springs

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A grant program aimed at revitalizing downtown Tarpon Springs is successfully drawing new businesses to the area.

  • Recruitment grant offers businesses up to $ 7,000
  • City began offering grant last year
  • Tarpon Springs has seen at least $ 1 million in private investment

The city’s restaurant recruitment grant offers businesses up to $ 7,000 to improve the interior of an existing building.  

Economic Development Manager Karen Lemmons said a total of nine new restaurants and shops have used the grant.

“We have a lot of historic buildings right on Tarpon Avenue,” Lemmons said.  “So to see them re-purposed and put back into great shape is a nice shining way of coming into the city.”

Among the new businesses taking advantage of the grant is the soon-to-open KC Que BBQ restaurant on East Tarpon Avenue.

“We wouldn’t be doing it without the grants,” said KC Que BBQ owner Mike Kaiser.

A few blocks away, BackDraught’s restaurant also took advantage of the restaurant recruitment grant.

“It allowed us to really bring this to the full potential that we knew it could be,” said BackDraught’s co-owner Dillon Walts.

The city first started offering the grant last year. Recently, the city added more funding to the program.

In return, Lemmons said the city has seen at least $ 1 million in private investment.

All future businesses are welcome to apply for the grant.  Applications are available at City Hall.

Bay News 9 – business

August 27, 2016 |
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