Austal USA has provided over $100,000 to key community organizations including funds for a Downtown Mobile Alliance (DMA) program to upgrade building facades.
According to DMA spokeswoman Carol Hunter, the funds from Austal will help business and building owners spruce up the outside of their buildings and inject a bit of liveliness into downtown.
“Facades can deteriorate quickly in our climate on a historic building,” she said. “Facade grants are an incredible way to improve the overall experience of a place. It sends a message that a place is well taken care of and improves the whole experience.”
Hunter credits a larger facade grant program from the 1990s with helping to jump start the revitalization of downtown.
The facade grant program is a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $5,000 for renovations and improvements to the outside of buildings, she said. More details about the program can be found here.
Austal also made financial donations to The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama to support virtual clubs and go-packets filled with educational activities children can do at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another financial donation was made to the Mobile County Public School System itself to support their food service and video education programs. Austal also provided financial donations to Feeding the Gulf Coast and Prodisee Pantry to support food services in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, Southern Mississippi and the Florida panhandle.
“Austal understands the challenges many are facing during the pandemic at home or with their business. We know our community is resilient and by working together, we’ll get through this together,” Craig Savage, Austal’s Director of Communications and External Affairs, said.
Austal is also donating thousands of surgical masks to local health care workers through the Franklin Primary Health Center, the Medical Society of Mobile and the Baldwin County Medical Society. The company shifted from 3D printing ship and machine parts and is using the same techniques to print reusable masks and tension relief straps for USA Health. Click here for video of tension relief strap 3D printing.
In March, Austal partnered with The United Way of Southwest Alabama to raise over $300,000 for the organization through Austal’s nationwide supplier network.
Hunter said that DMA is also administering another grant program called “Downtown Strong,” which asks businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to raise $1,000 through gofundme and receive a $500 match from DMA. The program is preparing to award three $500 grants in the coming days to the Crescent Theater, the Haunted Bookshop and Coastal Makers.
The deadline for the Downtown Strong grant program will most likely be extended until mid-May.
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