Downtown Salisbury Supporting Existing Businesses Grant

Made possible by the generosity of the Duke Energy Foundation

Sada Troutman (left) and Randy Welch (right)

Downtown Salisbury, Inc is thrilled to present the Supporting Existing Businesses Grant Program, made possible by the generosity of the Duke Energy Foundation. All business owners located within the boundaries of the Downtown Salisbury Municipal Service District are invited to apply for grants between $500 and $2500 for Enhanced service or commerce opportunities; Furniture for expanded outdoor capacity; Storefront beautification; or Tools or programs to support the business’s workforce needs. This is a unique opportunity to make improvements to our already amazing Downtown, and all businesses eligible are encouraged to apply. For more information, guidelines, eligibility and the application process, please see below.

Program Guidelines and Eligibility

  • All applicants must be located within the Downtown Salisbury Municipal Service District.
  • All applicants may submit applications for appropriate expenditures in amounts between $500 and $2500.
  • The supporting small business support awards will focus on businesses with <50 employees.
  • Small businesses should have a storefront presence in the downtown area.
  • Nonprofits that operate a storefront small business, like a resale store or café, may be included as small business support applicants.
  • Small business support awards are intended to help small businesses thrive. Appropriate small business expenditures may include:
    • Enhanced service or commerce opportunities, such as modifying physical space, technology to improve online sales or expanding capacity for delivering goods and services.
    • Furniture for expanded outdoor capacity, such materials for construction of takeout windows, accessibility compliance for additional outdoor seating, additional fixtures required for compliance with public health issues.
    • Storefront beautification projects enhancing the appearance of the business and downtown region. For example, new exterior paint, awnings, signage or planters.
    • Tools or programs to support the business’s workforce needs. For example, working with a recruiter, paying to list job opportunities or tuition for a training program. Salaries and incentive pay are ineligible expenses, as noted below.
  • Payroll, incentive pay, rent and utilities are ineligible expenses.
  • The small business support awards may be used to reimburse small businesses for expenses already incurred. Expenses must have been incurred within the last 6 months (from date of grant release), and applicants for reimbursement may apply for $500 awards.

Grant Schedule

October 28, 2022 Grant Application Opens, by 9am

December 21, 2022 Grant Applications Due, by 5pm

January 11, 2023 Grant Committee Reviews Applications, TBD

January 13, 2023 Grant Recipients Notified of Awards, by 5pm

February 13, 2023 Grant Recipient Signed Contracts due to DSI, by 5pm

February 17, 2023 Grant Recipient Checks Disbursed, by 5pm

Application Checklist

  • Complete application page (click the button below)
  • Complete project description, including expected impact of project (economic, social)
  • Complete rendering of project (if applicable; required for Storefront beautification OR Furniture for expanded outdoor capacity OR any modification to physical space)
  • Photos for desired product/software/training program or project, example projects, affected areas of physical space OR photos for expenses already incurred (3-5 photos)
  • Current Business Plan for the business applying for the grant
    • Megan Smit at the RCCC Small Business Center can assist with these (free of charge)
    • Contact megan.smit@rccc.edu for information

Application Process

  1. Review the Downtown Salisbury Supporting Existing Businesses Grant Application, as well as the Program Guidelines and Eligibility in total.
  2. Please reach out to Sada Troutman, sada.troutman@salisburync.gov with any questions regarding the grant program or eligibility of a proposed project.
  3. Submit COMPLETE applications to Downtown Salisbury, Inc. Applications may be submitted via email to dsiinfo@salisburync.gov or in person at 217 S Main Street. Applications must be submitted before 5pm on Wednesday, December 21, 2022.
  4. Applications will be reviewed by the Downtown Salisbury Supporting Existing Businesses Grant Committee, made up of board and committee members of Downtown Salisbury and staff of the City of Salisbury.
  5. Applicants will be notified of grant awards via email. A grant contract must be signed within 30 days of award notice, at which time the grant award will be disbursed. If the contract is not signed within 30 days of award notice, it may result in forfeiture of the grant in its entirety.
  6. If at any point during the grant process, the scope of work changes, the applicant must contact Sada Troutman immediately. Unauthorized changes to the scope of the work may result in forfeiture of the grant in its entirety.

Evaluation Criteria

All projects that fall within the program guidelines, and are within the MSD boundary are eligible. However, this grant program is administered on a competitive qualifying basis. These are NOT first come, first serve. A Downtown Salisbury sub-committee will review all applications for awards based on the categories and questions below, which are to be addressed on the following application:

  • Complete, eligible application submitted on time (5 points)
  • Property/Business Owner contribution to project (up to 15 points)
    • No contribution, project entirely funded by grant
    • Up to 50% contribution (based on requested grant amount and project total cost)
    • Between 50% – 100% contribution (based on requested grant amount and project total cost)
    • More than 100% contribution (based on requested grant amount and project total cost)
  • Demonstrated need for project (up to 40 points)
    • What current need does this project fulfill for your business/property, particularly based on the category selected in the grant application?
    • How does fulfillment of this need positively impact your business/property?
    • How does fulfillment of this need positively impact neighboring businesses/properties?
    • How does fulfillment of this need positively impact the entire MSD/Downtown Salisbury?
  • Scope of impact for the project (up to 30 points)
    • How will this project make your business better for yourself and/or your employees?
    • How will this project make your business better for your customers?
    • How will this project make your business/property better for visitors, residents and/or other business owners/property owners in Downtown Salisbury?
  • Inclusion of appropriate renderings and photos for the project (5 points)
    • Renderings only if applicable, all projects should include photos
  • Inclusion current business plan for the business (5 points)

*Depending on the number of applications and requests for this grant, partial awards may be made.

Please note that all City of Salisbury permitting regulations still apply. As such, any projects that require a Certificate of Appropriateness AND/OR any other permits must apply with the City of Salisbury (132 N Main Street, Salisbury, NC 28144). All outdoor seating and display options must not fall within five (5) feet of the curb—they must leave five (5) feet of clearance for pedestrians. These are not the only permitting concerns, and all projects should check with City of Salisbury staff with any questions at 1stop@salisburync.gov or (704) 638-5208.

For any questions regarding permissible projects, please feel free to reach out to Sada Troutman, sada.troutman@salisburync.gov.

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