Applications open for Decatur DDA’s small business grantsE. Court Square in downtown Decatur on May 18, 2021. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Decatur, GA — Applications opened today, Jan. 8, for the commercial buildout improvement grant, marketing and digital connectivity grant, and commercial facade improvement grant for small businesses in Decatur. The Decatur Downtown Development Authority approved the grants in November 2023.
In addition to the new initiatives, the DDA also announced the renewal of the commercial facade Improvement grant, according to a press release. Each program will have opportunities to apply quarterly. The first 21-day window for applications opens today and close on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.
The DDA oversight committee will review all submissions once the application window is closed. Applicants will be notified of their status following the DDA’s final review and approval. Once approved, projects must begin within six months and be completed within 18 months.
The DDA allocated $50,000 to the commercial build-out improvement grant program and $25,000 to the marketing and digital connectivity grant program. The commercial facade improvement grant was also replenished with $100,000.
“When we launched the CFIG program earlier this year, we received tremendous engagement from local business owners and saw a critical need was being served,” DDA Chair Conor McNally said in the press release. “Given that response, we recognized the value in taking it a step further, which is why we established the CDIG and MDCG to help address both the physical and digital challenges they need to thrive.”
McNally added that the DDA saw results from the commercial facade improvement grant like a mural at Siam Thai, an awning at Float Atlanta and a new door at Rebel Teahouse.
“With countless businesses that have stood the test of time, our mission is to ensure they can continue to prosper. We see value in making these key investments in them,” he said.
All grants will cover 75% of the cost of any approved project, with the business owner covering the other 25%.
The commercial build out improvement grant will help businesses and property owners improve the inside of their buildings.
“The maximum CBIG grant amount is $10,000, and the minimum participation is $2,500. The program would provide a 75/25 matching grant, with 75% of the project expenses reimbursed through the CBIG program, up to $10,000, and 25% of expenses incurred by the applicant,” Business Development Manager Shirley Baylis previously said.
Businesses would be reimbursed in the form of a grant after the qualifying project has been finished. The project would have to begin within six months of grant approval and be completed within 18 months of grant approval, Economic Development Intern Austin Thomas wrote in a memo.
The marketing and digital connectivity grant program aims to improve businesses’ digital marketing presence by supporting the design and production of digital content and marketing materials, Baylis said.
“The program would offer the opportunity for approved business owners to receive a reimbursement, in the form of a grant,” Baylis said.
A business could receive a maximum of $2,500. Similar to the commercial build out improvement grant, businesses will incur 25% of the expenses and be reimbursed for $75% of the project expenses if they are approved for a grant. The project would have to start within six months of grant approval and be completed within 12 months of grant approval.
“The scope of work that is eligible is the brand and logo design, website design, video shoots or photoshoots, and ad campaigns on Instagram or Facebook [and any additional platforms],” Baylis said.
The commercial facade improvement grant aims to support projects focused on maintaining and beautifying storefronts
“This is going to be a grant program that reimburses expenses that are incurred on large projects, as well as smaller projects for ground-floor commercial, retail, and service businesses,” Planning and Economic Development Director Angela Threadgill previously said.
Grant awards for larger projects range from $2,500 to $10,000. For larger projects, business owners and commercial property owners would have to provide some matching funds as well. There are also micro-grants of $1,000 available for one-time minor improvements.
“The program will provide a 75/25 matching grant, with 75% of the project expenses reimbursed through the CFIG program, up to $10,000, and 25% of expenses incurred by the applicant,” Baylis wrote in a memo. “The DDA will reimburse … the applicant after all necessary project expense documents have been submitted and approved by the program review committee.”
For more information on the grant programs and how to apply, click here.
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