BY JOHN H. WALKER
A $200,000 grant application made last June by the Town of Tarboro to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Main Street Solutions Fund on behalf of Tarboro Brewing Company, to be located at 525 N. Main St., has been approved.
The grant program requires a $400,000 commitment from applicants Stephen and Inez Ribustello and either the creation or retention of eight full-time permanent jobs.
According to a press release from the Town of Tarboro, the grant will be used for building upgrades to the former Constantine Brothers Oil Company Building. Once complete, the building will be the new home to the microbrewery and taproom.
Tarboro Brewing Company will invest $600,000 in the property and expects to create eight new jobs. The facility is projected to open in the summer of 2014. Stephen and Inez Ribustello, owners of On the Square restaurant, also in downtown Tarboro, own Tarboro Brewing Company.
Town officials expressed hope that the grant application, when approved, would help spur continued economic growth in the downtown. In recent months, a pet shop, music store and pub have opened in the area.
Planning Director Josh Edmondson said the microbrewery would allow patrons to sample regional beers, including those brewed by Tarboro Brewing Company. The facility will be family friendly with an arcade and games for guests under age 21.
The Town of Tarboro applied for the grant on behalf of Tarboro Brewing Company.
“The grant is a great way for the town to show our commitment to downtown revitalization and our business community,” said Edmondson. “The microbrewery will give citizens and visitors something fun to do downtown after 5 p.m.”
The purpose of the Main Street Solutions Fund is to provide maximum support to small businesses in designated micropolitan areas in designated North Carolina Main Street communities. The grants are used to assist planning agencies and small businesses with efforts to revitalize downtowns by creating jobs, funding infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating buildings.