Broad River Road sprucing up almost done.

Eleven beautification projects along the Broad River Road corridor are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

The Richland County Community Planning and Development Department awarded 11 businesses commercial facade improvement grants, which provide up to $16,000 per commercial building for exterior improvements such as storefronts and signage.

The program was established by the department to attract and retain businesses, strengthen the commercial corridor along Broad River Road, restore economic vitality and enhance property values, according to county officials.

"We try to focus this facade improvement program on neighborhood master plan areas," said Clayton Voignier, director of Richland County Community Planning and Development. "The Broad River Road corridor is part of our five-year funding plan."

Among the first-round grant recipients was child care center The Sunshine House, which used its grant to install a new sign and wood privacy fence and to seal and stripe the parking lot. Improvements continue on the other 10 businesses receiving the grants. The department anticipates all improvement projects will be completed by the end of October.

The first round of the grant cycle was open to businesses fronting Broad River Road from Interstate 20 to St. Andrews Road, according to a news release...

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