New incentive to fix up downtown Clovis businesses

NewsChannel 10

Clovis, New Mexico - A big effort to revitalize downtown Clovis is being bolstered by a new incentive for business owners.

The New Mexico Historic Preservation Office is offering a helping hand in the effort to cleanup Clovis, by encouraging business owners to make changes to their properties, that will improve their appearance and better serve customers.

It's the heart of downtown Clovis, historic Main Street, and it's getting a major facelift.

Clovis Main Street President Lisa Dunagan says, "If you have visitors coming to town and they see a huge, vacant building, it just makes them think there is nothing here. I think it makes you feel like you have a vibrant town if you're downtown is healthy."

Which is why the old Hotel Clovis is being transformed into an apartment building, streetscape and painting projects are being completed, and empty buildings are being filled with new businesses.

In fact, the downtown area is seeing an influx of existing businesses move in.

Dunagan explains, "It creates jobs in our area and all of our economic reports show job creation in our downtown area has nothing but escalated over the last couple of years."

As things come together slowly but surely, there is now another reason why downtown business owners should fix up their properties. It's the Main Street Revolving Loan Fund, which offers monetary assistance with a less than 1% interest rate for making building renovations, repairs, and updates.

Dorothy Victor with the New Mexico Historic Preservation Office says, "I think it's a good program to help property owners take care of things they know they need to do, but they just need that little extra financial incentive, or that little extra technical assistance."

It's expected to take care of major building code issues many downtown property owners face, as most of the structures are old and expensive to update.

The incentive is a five year loan in most cases, with half of the money provided by the state, and the other half by a local bank.