OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY)– Opelousas Downtown Development District is offering a grant to qualified business and property owners in the Downtown District Corridor. With community support, a grant that was once $2,500 is now up to $10,000. DDD hopes this $10,000 matching grant will help move Opelousas forward.

Sarah Branton, Committee Chair for the Building Improvement grant, says the reason the Downtown Development District was created is to invest in the downtown corridor.

“The lifeline of any community is Downtown, That is our goal, to reinvest and have all the business back in commerce,” she said.

The reimbursement grant program was created to give business and property owners an incentive to renovate their buildings Downtown. With the matching grant, the recipient will be expected to be able to match the $10,000 equally in order to be awarded the grant.

The grant can be used to preserve history, improve the appearance or functionality of the space. Branton says it is for anything the business may need.

Lena Charles with St. Landry Parish Economic Development days the grant was created after the completion of its master plan in 2018. COVID-19 halted the roll out of the grant. Now, Downtown Development District was to help business owners after the difficulties faced during the pandemic.

“It gave them an understanding that we really appreciate them still being open in Opelousas,” said Charles.

Applications for the BIG grant are due June 1. Recipients will be announced in August. For more information or to apply, visit the St. Landry Parish Economic Development website.