Interior Grant-Existing, Expanding & Developer

In order to partner with the businesses and property owners within the Great Falls Business Improvement District (BID) towards our shared vision of downtown revitalization, the BID offers an incentive program to locate, upgrade or expand the interior of a business in downtown Great Falls. This grant is not a rebate program for deferred maintenance or for projects that have already started or completed. No funds will be paid out on work done prior to receipt of application.  The BID is particularly interested in projects that represent permanent improvements that would out last any individual business or property owner.

Please note: Projects will be reviewed on a case by case basis and awarded based on the annual budget.

PROJECT CRITERIA
After reviewing the grant packet, contact the BID and meet with the staff to ensure that all elements of the program are understood. Submit your completed grant application to the BID office. Once your application is received you may begin the work, no funds will be paid out on work done prior to receipt of application. You will receive written approval from the BID once they have reviewed & approved the application. Any deviations from the original proposal must be resubmitted to the BID for approval. After completion, paid bills for the total project must be presented to the BID. The BID will review the finished project to ensure that it conforms to the submitted plans before any grant funds will be released. Funds will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. If grant funds are exhausted for the fiscal year payment of your grant may be postponed until the funds are available.
The BID reviews grant applications in reference to the following goals:
1. Generate new business downtown.
2. Renovate or utilize space that is now vacant.
3. Increase the number of people shopping, working, and/or living downtown.
4. Encourage projects that have a visible and beautifying effect.
5. Act as catalyst for types of businesses identified as desirable (e.g., mixed-use).

A complete BID Grant Program Application will include the following:
Download Interior Grant Application and Cost Estimate
1. The Grant Program Application
2. Project description
3. Photo of the building in its current condition
4. Photos or sketches of the proposed new project. Include plans/renderings of the project.  The plans must represent the project to scale, including all colors and be drawn to the level of detail that will allow full understanding of how the project will look when completed. Included with this should be a one page typed letter briefly describing the project.  This letter should include a description of how the project meets the definition of an expanding or upgraded business. This should also include an estimate of new employees and customers.
5. Cost breakdown – A one page summary of the estimated project costs – all costs must be included, but only permanent, physical improvements and the contract labor associated with the permanent improvements count toward the final evaluation.
6. Eligibility Checklist

Project criteria and eligibility:
1. Project must be within the boundaries of the BID (a map is available upon request).
2. The building owner must be current on all property taxes in Great Falls.
3. Any tenant applying for an incentive grant must have the owner’s written permission attached to the application.
4. Only permanent interior improvements and associated contract labor are eligible. Such permanent elements include structural, walls, electrical, plumbing, wall coverings and flooring.
5. For existing businesses, enhancement and beautifying projects are eligible for 10% of the projected costs at time of application or 10% of actual costs, whichever is less, up to a maximum of $10,000.
6. Expanding businesses are eligible for 20% of the project costs for permanent improvements and contract labor.  An expanding business is a business that is already located within the BID boundaries and is increasing its square footage.
7. Developers are eligible for 30% of the project costs for permanent improvements and contract labor.  Developer grants may be utilized as long as a future tenant is either not identified or is not an existing or expanding business, as defined above.
8. Staff must review the finished projects and the business must be open before the grant payment is given.
9. Upon approval of grant, applicant has six (6) months to begin significant construction or the grant will be rescinded and applicant must re-apply.
10. All interior grant projects must be completed within 6 months of approval. The BID must approve any extension beyond 6 months.
11. With submission of receipts and final documentation applicants must submit a copy of the building permit issued by the City of Great Falls (or a copy of the receipt for the permit).

Please note: Projects will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and awards will be approved based on the annual budget. In addition, the BID reserves the right to offer, deny or suggest changes of the proposal requesting grants for any reasons not specifically listed in this documentation.

Email BID with any questions you may have on this grant.