Pedlet grant deadline is next week, applications still sought

The Business Improvement District has revamped the pedlet program for downtown Great Falls and is seeking applications.

The new program will provide three $7,500 grants. Eligible applicants must submit an application and a $1,000 check to the BID by June 28.

The BID made changes to the grant program since there had been a lack of applicants so far this summer, despite several businesses expressing interest. Some of the hesitation from businesses was the cost of the pedlets.

Downtown in need of more pedlet grant applications

Earlier this year, the BID was planning to fund up to $5,000 but there was some hesitation on the part of downtown restaurant owners regarding the cost of installing a pedlet. So far, that cost has ranged from $7,000 to $12,000, according to Joan Redeen, BID director.

Under the new grant program, the BID will manage the construction of the pedlet to include hiring, management and payment of the contractors and architects. The BID will also handle the initial installation of the pedlet to ensure compliance with city code, but after that the business would be responsible for annual maintenance, removal and installation annually and storage of the pedlet.

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From the applications, the BID will randomly draw three checks from the applications and the unselected businesses will have their uncashed checks returned.

The BID received an $8,000 grant from the Montana Main Street Program to formalize the city’s pedlet program.

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The BID kicked in another $15,000; Great Falls Montana Tourism added $5,000 and the Downtown Development Partnership added $2,000 for a total of $30,000 in available grant money to help businesses who want to add pedlets cover the initial costs, Joan Redeen  BID director, told The Electric earlier this year.

In the new grant program, any costs over $8,500 would be the responsibility of the business, which is also responsible for getting the necessary permits for sidewalk dining, courtesy parking and alcohol if applicable.

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Earlier this summer, Redeen and the Downtown Development Partnership discussed the lack of applicants for the pedlet grants and the need to adjust the program.

The initial pedlet that first opened last summer was funded in part by Montana Main Street grant funds, NeighborWorks Great Falls and the Great Falls Business Improvement District.

Pedlet has arrived in downtown Great Falls

The first pedlet was installed at Mighty Mo Brewing Company last summer, making Great Falls the second city nationwide to use the temporary sidewalk space in an effort to increase walkability and outdoor dining downtown. Enbar added a pedlet this summer as well.

Anyone interested in applying for a pedlet should contract the BID at 727-5430 or