The Paris Downtown Network, the local affiliate of the Main Street Arkansas program, is now accepting applications for Building Improvement Grants.

The grants are for improvements to building facades in the downtown area only, according to Tonya Baumgartner of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce, which is coordinating the grant application process. The downtown area is defined as the area around Courthouse Square, one block off Courthouse Square and South Elm Street from Walnut to Highway 309.

Work must be completed no later than June, 2018. Grants can be used to pay for things such as awnings, exterior paint, windows and lights, signage — exterior improvements. The deadline to submit grant applications is Sept. 1. You can get an application by calling 963-2244 or by stopping at the PACC building, located at 301 West Walnut, during regular business hours.

This is the second year grants have been offered, Baumgartner said. Last year, three grants were awarded and the organization is hoping to award five grants this year.

“It’s a pretty simple application process,” Baumgartner said. “Main Street Arkansas will go over each application and rank them for us. Local people will not be making the grant selection. That’s being made in Little Rock. Main Street Arkansas will rank the grant applications and those rankings will determine which grants are awarded.”