Businesses in downtown Moncton are being encouraged to get a spring facelift.

The Downtown Moncton Façade Development Program offers grants to business owners who want to improve their facades.

Last year was the first year the program was offered, and it was so successful it is being expanded.

Sequoia Whole Foods looked more like a house than a business, so owner Shane Scott decided to take advantage of the façade improvement program.

He put up a new sign and colorful awnings, and he said the results were immediate.

"People that walked by there for years and didn't know there was a business in there from the signage that was in front of the business before so they just immediately stopped in out of curiosity," he said.

Anne Poirier-Basque, executive director for Downtown Moncton, is hoping other businesses take advantage of the program this year.

She said this year, grants have been boosted by $500.

"What it is, is 50 per cent of their project up to a maximum of $3,000 and it can go towards either renovating, improving or restoring the façades," she said.

Eleven businesses took advantage of the program and got a fresh look last year.

Poirier-Basque said she hopes to see that number increase. She said it helps increase property value and promotes community spirit.