New Push to Remove Concrete Awnings
Three of them have already done so. Binghams, Penguin Bar and Boone National Savings are the only three businesses so far that have removed the canopies from outside their stores.
A representative from Boone National said they spent close to $10,000 to remove the canopy. But the Special Business District claims the highest bid it's seen for the work was just over $6,000 for every 20-foot section. Either way, removing the canopies amounts to a cost that most business-owners are not able or not willing to cover. Still, most business owners agree that the canopies detract from the look and feel of the district.
"It's time for a change down here. I think there are ways to protect our customers from the elements that are more attractive and that show the character of the buildings better and just make downtown more attractive," said business owner Luanne Andes.
There are federal and state tax credits available to businesses who want to completely rehabilitate historical buildings and that was actually what the Penguin Bar did.
Several of the banks in town are offering discounted loan rates for businesses wanting to borrow money to pay for the removal of their canopies. That includes Boone County National Bank, Boone National Savings, Commerce Bank, First National Bank, Premier Bank and US Bank.
For more information, go to the additional link or call the Columbia Special Business District at 573-442-6816.