Grants help revitalize Uptown Greenville - WNCT

Grants help revitalize Uptown Greenville

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -
Uptown Greenville is seeing success with their small business plan competition. Twice a year, the Office of Economic Development accepts applications for a revitalization grant. 
          
It is offered to small businesses wishing to relocate or expand within the Uptown district. The latest business to win a grant is Art Avenue, a studio and gallery space located on west 5th street in Greenville.

Throughout the week, volunteers and staff worked on the store's interior for this past weekend's metal symposium. The space is pretty neat and there was a lot of repurposing done.
     
The group salvaged store front windows from some of the businesses that have shut down and they incorporated them into the studio spaces.
Claire Edwards, Art Avenue’s Director says their shop is a great outlet for emerging artist who are constantly leaving the area once they graduate from East Carolina University.

"With Art Avenue, artist can step in and put their hand in something and see it grow. It's not like going somewhere else and trying to find your niche," Edwards says. 
     
So far they have two ceramist, two jewelers and the studio's manager says they'll have room for two more. 
"I think bars are an important part of a college town but we're trying to bring the other half of the demographic in to the whole equation,” Jeremy Fineman said. 

Three other businesses won the grant in 2013, Tier 2 technology, E-Audit and Courtside Café. Art Avenue was given $15,000. The city says they'll have to pay it back if the business closes in the next three years.

To learn more about Art Avenue, click here
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