The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) recently launched the Utah Main Street Pilot Program. This collaborative initiative focuses on rural communities in the state and includes numerous state agencies and other organizations.

The community-led program addresses the individual districts’ needs and wants and will lead to a roll-out of the Utah Main Street Program in communities throughout the state. The program could provide many of the state’s rural downtowns with similar support and a framework to revitalize efforts.

“GOED is delighted to take the lead on this collaborative initiative,” said Val Hale, GOED’s executive director. “Revitalizing rural downtown communities pays tremendous economic dividends to both business owners and residents by creating visually appealing and economically viable downtown buildings.”

One of the goals of the pilot committee is to administer a facade grant program. With limited funding, the program’s goal is to provide an opportunity to downtown building owners in Brigham City and Price with projects to apply for matching funds that will jump-start their facade improvements.

The committee met for several months to address the downtown revitalization framework and announced the first façade grant awardees.

Price, Utah Buildings
1) Studebaker
2) 39-47 W Main Street

Brigham City, Utah Buildings
1) Idle Isle
2) Union Block
3) Howard Hotel

“We were very pleased with the quality of the applications and with the commitment and enthusiasm of the property owners,” said Roger Roper, state historic preservation officer and co-chair of the pilot committee.” These projects will not only enhance the appearance of individual historic buildings, but they will also improve the overall appearance of their respective downtowns and give the local Main Street programs a big boost in their economic revitalization efforts.”

Program funding was secured from Bear River Association of Governments, GOED, State Historic Preservation Office, Utah Department of Transportation, Utah Office of Heritage and Arts, Utah Office of Tourism, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Development Program.