Landmarks Illinois partners with Banterra Bank on new grant program for Southern Illinois preservation projects

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Landmarks Illinois says it has launched a new grant program focused on preserving historic places in Southern Illinois in partnership with regional Banterra Bank.

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The Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program will provide monetary assistance to preserve or rehabilitate historic structures in downtowns and other commercial corridors of Southern Illinois to support economic development, the organization says in an April 26 statement.

The program will provide a minimum of $20,000 in grant funding for two years to historic preservation projects. This is the first grant program Landmarks Illinois has targeted to a specific Illinois economic development region. It is also Landmark Illinois’s first grant program offered to private building owners, developers and for-profit business owners.

Landmarks Illinois and Banterra Bank announced the new Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program this morning at a community event hosted by the City of Marion, Illinois. Announcement representatives were Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald, Banterra Bank President & CEO Jeff May and Marion Mayor Mike Absher. Local business owner Jeff Mayer, who owns and plans to rehabilitate the historic Goodall Building in Marion, also joined the announcement.

“Landmarks Illinois is proud to partner with Banterra Bank to provide this important grant funding for people working to restore historic places to drive economic development in their communities,” said Landmarks Illinois president and CEO Bonnie McDonald. “Southern Illinois is a unique region in our state, rich with history, outdoor attractions and charming downtowns. The region’s historic places also add to its character and appeal and they deserve to be preserved.”

“As a lender with small business expertise, we know that when it comes to renovating historic structures for business use, financing the unexpected can be challenging,” said Jeff May, the bank’s president and CEO. “This grant will help with some of those costs and offer credibility to a development project that may assist with further grants. We are encouraged to see how this will grow and support Southern Illinois.”

The bank and Landmarks Illinois will provide $10,000 in annual grant funding for two years for the new grant program, with the partners having the option to renew the program at that time.

Commercial property owners, nonprofit organizations or governmental bodies working on a historic preservation project in or near a commercial corridor in Southern Illinois are encouraged to apply for grant funding through the program.

Grants will be awarded on a matching basis and range from $500 to $2,500, each based on project need. Grants are distributed twice a year. The first grant application deadline is July 15. Visit the Landmarks Illinois website to read detailed grant guidelines and to submit an application.

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