Sebastian redevelopment council to decide on new café sign, business analyst

SEBASTIAN – A Sebastian café is seeking funds from the city’s redevelopment budget to construct a new sign to promote its business along US 1. At the same time, city leaders are considering using funds to pay for a part time business analyst from the Indian River State College to help struggling or potential business owners develop a better plan.

Both issues are on the agenda this evening for the Sebastian Community Redevelopment Agency, which consists of City Council members. Mayor Richard Gillmor had floated the idea of using CRA funds to pay for a part time business analyst at a meeting earlier this year. His fellow council members asked he bring it back for discussion at a CRA meeting.

Gillmor is expected to ask the redevelopment agency for direction tonight to determine whether to proceed with discussions with Indian River State College. The proposal would locate a certified business analyst at the Yacht Club, which is located within the city’s redevelopment area.

The redevelopment agency is also being asked to kick in $20,000 to help fund the analyst’s salary.

The analyst would be tasked with assisting business owners – or would-be owners – in attaining financing, banking, cash management and other issues associated with starting or managing a small business.

The CRA’s fund has approximately $600,000 that has not yet been allocated for projects, City Manager Al Minner told the members at a recent CRA meeting.

Also to be discussed at the meeting is a new sign for Island Smoothie Café, located at 1400 US 1.

The business is seeking a Façade, Signage and Landscaping grant of up to $7,500 from the Community Redevelopment Agency to construct a monument sign in keeping with the city’s guidelines.

The sign will be restricted to 72 inches tall by 84 inches wide and will include two lines of readerboard, which would allow the business to swap out wording for specials and promotions.

Island Smoothie Café has received several bids for a new sign, which range from $3,900 to $11,250. The redevelopment agency’s policy is to award grants for 80 percent of the cost up to $7,500.

Every year, the CRA funds up to $30,000 in signage, landscaping and façade improvements to commercial properties within the redevelopment area. Already this year, the CRA has approved new signs for Jerry Smith Tile and Sebastian Antiques/A Better Consignment.

Southern Sisters Café and Maxwell Plumbing have also applied for funds are expected to go before the redevelopment agency at a later meeting.

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