Councillor Preston Meier is excited to announce that the City of Portage's budget includes a focus on investments to bring new amenities a chance for beautification to downtown. He notes more announcements are forthcoming about that, but he shares one.

"We always had what we call a Storefront Improvement Grant," says Meier. "Basically, what it did is it allowed small businesses and non-profits to really improve the front physical facade of their building, especially in the downtown area. Over the past years, council had dedicated so many dollars to it, but this year, council decided to increase that amount and it's a matching fund."

He says they have a total of $15,000 and each individual business can apply for up to $3,000 in matching funds to do that. 

"The program really took off this year. In fact, we're a little bit oversubscribed, which is a really good initiative to see our business owners putting dollars back into our downtown core and really making it look like it should."