A new façade at Johnson’s Floral is kicking off a slew of changes for the florist in the near future.

The façade previously was the original canopy that was part of the building when it was built in 1952, according to Paul Grethey Jr.

“The original was just an overhang,” Grethey Jr. said. “It was time for a change. The letters itself, they’re the original letters from 1952. So, everything’s original on it, we just had it repainted.

“The awning part was through the façade grant. When they started offering that out, we researched into it and thought that’s where we want to start with upgrades to the shop.”

The façade improvement grant, available through the Morton Economic Development Council, gives businesses up to $5,000 “for exterior building and signage improvements,” according to the website.

“It was pretty simple. You just fill out paperwork and it’s good to go,” he said. “It’s a great thing for Morton for them to do that. What they’re trying to do is improve the frontages of businesses and bring more business into Morton on the retail side.

“It’s a positive for everyone. It’s a positive for the EDC with the grant and it’s a positive for the businesses because it’s not as much upfront cost for the businesses.”

The grant is open to any business or business owner in the Morton Business District. Applications are due Jan. 31, with funding awarded in March.

The application can be found at http://www.mortonedc.org/entrepreneur/financialresources.

“I think it’s great what the EDC does that they offer grants to the smaller businesses,” Grethey Jr. said. “We’re also applying for a microgrant through the EDC also to help with renovations.”

— Read about more upcoming changes to Johnson’s Floral in next week’s edition of the Morton Times-News.