Storefront Mini Grant Project
WHAT IS THE STOREFRONT MINI GRANT PROJECT?
Division Midway Alliance developed the program to help business and property owners within the district to improve their storefronts. In 2018-2019, 6 businesses were recipients of the grant, which totaled to about $55,660.00
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE STOREFRONT MINI GRANT?
To support and strengthen places of business. DMA encourages exterior improvements that create unique and attractive spaces for consumers. Interior projects are also eligible through the grant. DMA supports affordable grant projects so businesses and owners are benefitted rather than burdened by the revitalization projects.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR FUNDING?
Any building owner or tenant with lease authority and authorization from the property owner can apply for funding. The project site must be located in the Division-Midway target area (along Division Street from SE 117th to SE 148th and along 122nd from SE Sherman St. (North) to SE Clinton St. – see the attached map). Tenants must have a minimum of two years remaining on their lease or an option to renew.
WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING? Examples of possible projects include but are not limited to:
● Exterior Lighting and Interior Lighting
● Street Trees
● Awning removal or improvement
● Tree Well Improvements
● Exterior Paint or Interior Paint
● Unique Bike Racks
● Door/window replacement and weatherization
● Signage (not including A-Boards)
WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS ARE INELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING?
The Mini Grant Program is not intended to cover the costs of extensive deferred maintenance, such as power washing, or major redesign and structural work. For example, while a small grant may cover the cost of new light fixtures and installation, it is not appropriate for major redesign and structural work, if that is necessary to hang the fixture. The grant is not intended to cover the cost of installing or replacing objects that will not stay with the building, such as moveable landscaping pots, interior seating, fixtures, and display cases.
ARE THERE DESIGN GUIDELINES OR OTHER SELECTION CRITERIA?
Projects must conform to the Portland Zoning Code, be in alignment with the Portland Main Street Design Handbook and be approved by the Division-Midway Design Committee. The Division-Midway Design Plan prioritizes projects that:
● Improve pedestrian safety and experience
● Increase visibility of business
● Increase green space
● Include a plan for ongoing maintenance
● Integrate sustainability (economic, environmental & social equity), i.e energy efficient lighting
● Utilize local vendors
● Reflect the diversity of the district
● Improve customer experience
HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK?
1) Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an informational meeting with DMA
2) Applicants are required to schedule a one-on-one application assistance consultation with a designated Division-Midway staff member, board, Capital Improvement Committee member BEFORE submitting their application. The full application requires a detailed description of the project, architectural drawings if appropriate, color samples and cost estimates(Two bids are required).
3) The Capital Improvement Committee will review the applications and recommend projects to be moved forward for funding. Interested applicants may download the application here.
HOW IS THE MONEY AWARDED?
DMA has restructured how it financially administers its Storefront Improvement Grant Program. While business and/or property owners are still responsible for the management of storefront projects, DMA will submit a maximum amount or 100% of the project costs (up to $10,000) per address/projects, to the contractor directly.
● Upon approval, the business/property owner will provide a portion of 25% of the total project cost.
● The contractor of choice submits a W-9 form and invoice for the proposed project to DMA.
● Work begun prior to approval is not eligible for funding.
● Business/property owners will submit two high resolutions “After Photos” (JPEG or PDF preferred) of the completed project.
● Upon completion, a reviewal of the completed project will determine whether the work performed was the approved plan.
● An applicant that applies in this round may also re-apply for the next round a year after.
● Projects will be based on funding availability and first come, first serve.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO MEET THE MATCH?
Division-Midway is committed to helping applicants meet the matching requirement for the grant. We will work with you and support your efforts to identify a source for the match.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A PROJECT IS SELECTED?
● Projects can begin once committee approval is received and the business or property owner submits payment for the agreed upon project percentage outlined in the project acceptance letter.
● All building permits and any other required permits for the work to be done is the responsibility of the applicant.
● The applicant must conform with all applicable safety standards and conditions.
● The applicant also agrees to take on full maintenance of the project with the contractor of applicant’s choice.
● Division Midway Alliance does not have a contractual agreement with the vendor. The legal liability is between the grantee (business owner) and the contractor. Any dispute should be addressed by the grantee and the contractor.
● Projects must be completed within one year from committee approval, unless extended by Division-Midway.
● Division-Midway may promote an approved project including, but not limited to, displaying a Division-Midway sign at the site, during and after construction, and using photographs and descriptions of the project in Division-Midways’ materials.
DESIGN SERVICES OVERVIEW
The Division-Midway Capital Improvement Design Committee is available to provide basic design assistance and support to applicants. The Committee recommends that the applicant work with a design professional if they require significant design work and support. The architect does not dictate design direction; rather their role is to advise property owners on the design strategy for the district. If a property or business owner hires a professional for additional services, they may do so independent of the services being provided through the Division-Midway Mini Grant Program. Applicants are not required to use a professional for their personal property improvements.