Palestine, Texas Grant Program Makes AR Treasures the Coolest Place to Shop in Town

Friday, February 09, 2024

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The Palestine Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) continues to support local businesses with its Downtown Grant Program. A recent recipient was Alex Rodriguez, owner of AR Treasures, who used the grant to repair his heating and air conditioning system. Read about his story and how the PEDC was able to help him. 

The Lights Turned On, But the HVAC Didn’t 

In the middle of July 2023, during the hottest days of the year, Rodriguez unlocked the door to AR Treasures and started turning on the lights. He quickly realized the air was stale and hot because the air conditioning unit was no longer humming. Rodriguez knew he would lose a lot of business without an HVAC system but also wasn’t sure he could handle the cost of repairing or replacing it on its own.

“Having adequate air in your place of business makes the shopping experience more comfortable and enjoyable,” says Rodriguez. “Our customers don't [want] to feel uncomfortable during their shopping trip.”

This is where PEDC came in and suggested Rodriguez fill out an application for the downtown grant program. After his grant was approved, Rodriguez was able to replace the lower-level system and keep his store cool once again.

“This is exactly what the Downtown Grant Program is for,” says Christophe Trahan, Economic Development Director at PEDC. “These funds reduce financial burdens on local business owners while also making their stores more appealing to shoppers. Our historic downtown is a cornerstone of the city and helping building owners keep up with whatever infrastructure needs they might face is a priority for the PEDC.” 

Downtown Grants Support Local Palestine Businesses 

Businesses within the Main Street Overlay District can work with the PEDC to invest in physical and visual improvements to their properties. The Downtown Grant Program will match up to 75% of eligible costs with maximum grants of $75,000. The goal of these grants is to make downtown Palestine, Texas more appealing to residents and visitors while supporting the small business owners that operate there. Here are a few improvements that are covered by these grants:

  • Façade improvement
  • Building stabilization
  • Sign improvements 
  • Property improvements  
  • American Disability Act (ADA) upgrades

Rodriguez qualified for this grant because his HVAC system counted as part of the building stabilization and repair category. This grant significantly reduced his repair costs.

“The grant process was worth it,” says Rodriguez. “It does require work, research from the grant recipient, an open line of communication with the PEDC, and some patience, but it was well worth it in the end.”  

AR Treasures is a Valuable Part of Downtown Palestine, Texas 

AT Treasures contributes to the quality of life in Palestine, Texas by curating unique antiques and curios for shoppers. Residents can furnish their homes with one-of-a-kind pieces while visitors stop in to explore this fascinating store.

“The community has welcomed the store with open arms and they are very happy to have a whole different place to shop,” says Rodriguez. “The store has an eclectic vibe and we update our inventory weekly.”

The PEDC supported Rodriguez because his store plays such an important role in the shopping and entertainment industries in the downtown area.

“One of our goals at PEDC is to make continued investments in the Main Street Overlay District,” says Trahan. “We encourage any businesses that need to make improvements to their stores to reach out and discuss their funding options with us.”

Visit palestinetexas.net/grants for more information on the Downtown Grant Program. 
Or Contact the PEDC for more information. 

Learn More About Palestine EDC

The Palestine Economic Development Corporation brings businesses to the area while making the town a wonderful place to live. Learn more about what we do beyond our Downtown Grant Program to grow and support Palestine, TX.

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