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DDRA awards sign grant

The Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association (DDRA) awarded another grant through its Improvement Incentive Program this week.

Sign Grant Photo

Pictured, from left, are DDRA Treasurer David Vaughan, DDRA Board member and Mayor-Elect Curtis Boyd, Executive Director Lisa Rock, DDRA President Bobby Kilgo, business owners Tony Marcus and Michael Scipio, Mayor Gloria C. Hines, and DDRA Board member Nancy Matthews.

"We are excited to see more businesses getting involved in improving their properties," said Lisa Chalian-Rock, executive director of the DDRA. "The concept of the grant program was to encourage all our businesses, new and existing, to update their signage and facades and make Darlington a more welcoming and attractive place for residents, customers, and businesses alike."

In November, the latest grant was awarded to S.C. House of Wings, owned by Tony Marcus and Michael Scipio, both originally from Darlington, for signs added to the top of 500 Pearl Street. The business opened during Race Week and has had a following ever since. Scipio said he plans to continue upgrades and expand the building to allow for seating in the future.

"We want this momentum to continue and see more businesses open and more succeed," Rock said. "This grant gives owners a little more incentive to stay in Darlington or to locate in Darlington."

Since the program's inception, the DDRA has awarded $9,000 in grants for improvements, meaning more than $175,000 worth of upgrades have been made by local businesses due to our efforts, not counting the domino effect of nearby property owners tidying up their buildings.

To apply, download the application from www.buildupdarlington.org or www.darlingtonSConline.com or get a copy from the DDRA Office or Codes Enforcement Office at City Hall, 400 Pearl St.

Through the DDRA Improvement Incentive Program, the DDRA provides up to 50% of the cost of removing or installing an approved sign up to a maximum of $1,000 or up to 50% of the cost of exterior painting up to a maximum of $1,000.

The Board of Directors has $5,000 available for the program in 2020. Applications should be submitted by the 24th day of the month for consideration.

What is encouraged

  • Replacement of wall-mounted signage with projecting signage.
  • Replacement of several advertising signs at one location with a single advertising sign.
  • Signs designed by a sign professional.
  • Replacement of worn, weathered, discolored, or out-dated signs and awnings.
  • Repainting of exterior buildings which show paint chipping.
  • Replacement or installation of awnings.


What will not be funded

  • Purchase of portable or temporary signs.
  • Signs that do not conform to the City's sign regulations and which have not been approved.
  • Signs and painting for businesses without current City of Darlington business licenses.
  • Interior painting.
  • Interior signage.

The Board will review applications on a monthly basis at its regular meetings until funds allocated for the program are exhausted. Preference will be given to DDRA members and to local, non-chain businesses.