By: Laura Keil

New flags, a bench, bike racks and a flower bed are part of Valemount Home Hardware’s new exterior. Home Hardware is one of the businesses taking part in this year’s Business Façade Improvement Program. The grants, up to $10,000 per business, are allotted through the Northern Development Initiative Trust, but administered locally. The Village of Valemount and the Village of McBride both applied and received $20,000 each this year. The Village of Valemount partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to administer the program. Village CAO Anne Yanciw says the Chamber helped determine how applicants would be selected for funding and communicated with prospective and successful applicants. Under NDIT rules, only a sector of the village can be eligible at any one time. Yanciw says the Village determined that anything zoned C1 would be eligible this year. She says the Village has the opportunity to apply for more funding next year.