Applications for the City’s 2016 Commercial Façade Grant program are now available online and during an informational meeting on October 21. The Commercial Façade Grant program was introduced eight years ago by Mayor Tom Henry and provides local businesses the opportunity to apply for matching grants to improve the exteriors of their buildings.
Applications are available at www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/facade and during the informational meeting on Wednesday, October 21 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Omni Room, lower level of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.
The program makes funds available to businesses in the core of the city in areas designated as Economic Development Target Areas, or EDTAs. Business corridors along Wells, State, Calhoun and Taylor streets, as well as Broadway, are all located in EDTAs. Through the program, grants are made to business and property owners to help offset the costs of façade renovations, signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements, decorative fencing, and other enhancements owners want to make to the exterior of their property.
Buildings with a single business are eligible for up to a $20,000 matching grant; buildings or sites with multiple businesses are eligible for up to $40,000. Funding comes from the Community Economic Development Income Tax, or CEDIT fund.
Since Mayor Henry kicked off the Commercial Façade Grant program in 2008, 82 façade improvement projects have been completed or are in the process of being completed, generating a private investment of almost $4.6 million. The city requires applicants to provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds in order to receive the grant, but the program has been so successful that the City has leveraged $3 in private funds to every $1 of public funds (3:1 public/private leveraging).
Applications for the grants will be accepted from November 12 through December 11, 2015; Questions may be directed to 311 or to Aliza Tourkow, grants manager, at Aliza.Tourkow.