Program Incentivizes the Reuse of Vacant and Abandoned Buildings

Vacant building

A new program offered by Columbia Empowerment Zone Inc. is up and running in the city of Columbia. The program provides property owners or tenants grants of up to $20,000 to reimburse the cost for renovating vacant and abandoned buildings within the City of Columbia and adjacent areas of the City. A total of $200,000 is available to fund the grant program.

According to Columbia Business Report, Lasenta Lewis-Ellis was introduced during a morning news conference as a business owner who is seeking the grant to move the operations of her company, LLE Construction Group LLC, from the Business Development Center Incubator at Benedict College to a vacant, one-story building at 2644 River Drive. She would add the grant to the $75,000 she already has budgeted for renovations to the building. Her plans "call for new electrical and HVAC systems, a new roof, and interior work such as building walls, laying carpet and painting," as reported the article.

Participants interested in this program must be property owners or tenants within the city of Columbia or area adjacent to the City to be eligible to apply. Awards of $1,000 to $20,000 are available

For more information and applications visit