The Coast News Group

Vista giving grants to improve facades

VISTA — Business owners who want help funding an enhancement project can find support through the city of Vista.

The city’s Economic Development Department recently launched its Facade Improvement Program, which will award a total of $75,000 to Vista businesses to improve its exterior.

“The program was implemented to help boost areas where they need to be brightened up,” Kevin Ham, the city’s economic development director, said. “There are some businesses that could really improve.”

Ham said the City Council approved the allocation of grants because the city found success in a similar program with the Vista Village Business Association. In the last eight years, the city and the business association offered grants to owners in the Vista Village.

“It had a really great effect of improving the look but also assisting the businesses,” Ham said. “These are small, independent businesses and the grant really helped them financially but also improved the area.”

Ham said just four business owners have applied for the program, but the total requested is $50,000. The grants will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

“If businesses utilize the program and it has its intended impact — that will have great weight as to whether the City Council approves it again,” Ham said.

Interested business owners can apply if desired improvements include items such as facade changes, building additions, new roof material and the creation of an outdoor patio area. Grants range from $5,000 to $15,000. Recipients are required to complete the improvement within one year of the award.

For more information about the city of Vista’s Facade Improvement Program, go to