Federal funds awarded $965,812 to the Killeen program

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The grant money will help bring five businesses to downtown Killeen and renovate two others that are already in the area.

KILLEEN, Texas – The town of Killeen will soon have several other businesses downtown, including a comedy club and a creative space for artists. Business owners told 6 News on Friday that it was a big step in revitalizing the area.

Killeen is using $965,812 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to bring five more businesses downtown and help revitalize two existing businesses, through a grant program called Downtown Start-Up Grants. The city has awarded three such grants so far.

Twice as Funny Comedy Lounge will receive a $306,000 grant to relocate to a new downtown property. Owner Sharon Hines currently leases a building on East Veterans Memorial Blvd, but the grant now gives her the option to purchase a permanent location for the business.

“I agree with the city on the need to revitalize downtown. This is something that is long overdue. Plus, it gives business owners the opportunity to own their own property. we can stay there,” Hines said.

Twice as Funny Comedy Lounge has already been operating in Killeen for six years and Hines said she hoped to attract more pedestrians to the town center by moving. The business will move to the old Potters House church building at 420 East Avenue C. Hines said it’s a great opportunity to own his own space. They will begin renovations in the next few weeks.

“We don’t have a lot of opportunities. Having that…it changes everything,” Hines said. “The Town of Killeen was behind this every step of the way and I thank them for this opportunity.

The grant money will also help create new start-up businesses. Voice coach Toni Ringgold has received a $128,000 grant for her new startup, Space Create. The startup will offer recording arts and media skills classes as well as vocal lessons.

“There will be opportunities for creatives, influencers, entrepreneurs, singers and songwriters to have a place to create,” Ringgold said. “You’re going to have music, a place where you can record, podcast and virtual reality because we want to tap into the Meta world.”

Ringgold told 6 News that Killeen is full of artistic and talented people, but has to travel to Dallas or Austin to work on their craft.

Ringgold just closed a building at 209 W Avenue D on Wednesday. Space Create will launch on Tuesday, September 6, and their website will be available then.

The Town of Killeen presented grants to Toni Ringgold, Sharon Hines and Chris Tootle last week and will award four more grants in the future. Killeen also provided 6 News with additional information about the grant recipients on Friday:

Braids and eyebrows by Chris

“I am a veteran who always enjoys being there for Army personnel. I want to develop a store with my fellow vets that enables employment and service opportunities at Fort Hood. Many salons don’t know the rules for the soldiers, but I am and I want them to have a place where they can continue to render great service while defending our country.”

“Khanesiology, LLC is the holding company of Khanetic Images, a professional photography studio specializing in portrait and event photography. Our clientele consists of small businesses, corporations and organizations looking to present a visual uniformity with professional images and content. Working with large entities allows us to be present in front of a large base of customers who move smoothly to the other services of our company; family portraits, weddings and celebrations.”

“Our mission is to establish a premium cigar lounge in Killeen, TX that will be the melting pot for all premium cigar lovers. Our desire is to establish a cigar lounge that will provide all brands of cigars in the United States and other parts of the world at all times to our valued customers and a place where people can network and socialize in a welcoming and friendly environment.”

“A cafe, restaurant and cooking school. We use local ingredients and produce whenever possible from a 100 mile radius. We host private events in the restaurant and outdoors.”

Existing Downtown Business Rincon de Panama is already an established downtown business that we can use the grant money to renovate their existing space.

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