MORE than 40 local businesses have received $2000 as part of the state government’s Shopfront Improvement Rebates to improve the look of their town’s centre.

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited Wonthaggi last week to mark the announcement, meeting with business owners to hear how they would implement the funding.

The rebates are being provided through a $50,000 investment from the $10m Regional Recovery Fund and is supported by Bass Coast Shire Council, which contributed an additional $27,583 for 15 extra businesses.

The rebates can be used for new signage, fresh paint, repairs, awnings, better accessibility and other shopfront improvements.

Foons Photographics owner Alan Foon said the funds would be used to replace signage at the front and on top of the business.

“It’s quite a big sign that sits up on an angle and you can see it both directions, so we’ll be reinstating that,” he said last week.

“It’ll help give us more prominence and some of the signage is definitely outdated and needs replacing.”

Other local businesses to receive the rebate include Souvanny Thai Restaurant, which will install new illuminated signage and lighting.

Vortex Surf Skate will install timed lighting to illuminate new signage in the afternoon and evening, while also removing step access to the entry of the shop to improve accessibly.

Successful applicants are expected to complete the improvements by May next year, with more recipients to be announced soon.