The City of New Brunswick has matching grant funding available improving facades and awnings on commercial buildings in the Esperanza French Street neighborhood. The grant funds can substantially reduce the cost to improve the appearance of your business location, making it more attractive to your customers and clients, and more profitable for you.
- All commercial properties including retail stores, service businesses and offices, but excluding industrial and auto-repair/auto body properties.
- Eligible projects include façade renovations such as resurfacing the façade, new windows, removing (not replacing) security gates, new or replacement awnings, signs and similar work.
- Eligible projects can also include new or replacement awnings.
- The minimum project cost is $4,000.
- Apply for and receive grant funding approval BEFORE starting the work.
- The business must be located in the program target area.
- The business must have a valid zoning permit for operation of the business at the location that is to receive funding assistance. If the business does not have a valid permit, they must submit an application ($100 fee) and obtain approval before being eligible for funding. (Not an eligible project cost)
- Have a zoning permit for all façade and signage changes that require a permit ($100 permit review fee). If the proposed façade or sign changes require variance approval, the applicant must first obtain variance approval from either the Planning Board or Zoning Board. (Eligible project cost)
- The business is not eligible for grant funding if they have received a façade grant within five years of making the application.
- If the applicant is a tenant, the property owner must acknowledge their approval of the proposed project. The application form provides an approval sign off for the owner, if applicable.
- The applicant and/or property owner is current on all property taxes.
- The applicant and/or property owner has no outstanding zoning, construction code or property maintenance violation notices or summonses related to the property to receive funding.
- The façade program provides a grant of up to $20,000 per business storefront.
- A $1:$1 match is required to be contributed by the applicant.
- Grant funds are provided after completion of the project.
- Funded applicants must submit documentation showing the expenditure of all the project funds.
- If the project cost is in excess of $40,000, the applicant is responsible for 100 percent of the costs in excess of $40,000.
- Change orders increasing the project cost above the original project approval costs are the applicant’s responsibility. If change orders reduce the cost of the project, the grant award will be reduced to reflect the reduced project cost.
- Grant funding applications must be approved by the City Council via Council resolution.
Matching Formula Examples:
- Applications are available through the Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development (DPCED), 25 Kirkpatrick Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. The office is above the Bayard Street Post Office, next to City Hall.
- There is no application fee.
- Applications are submitted to the Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development (DPCED).
- DPCED reviews the application and determines eligibility and fundability. DPCED will consult with the applicant to address project changes that are required in order to be eligible for funding. Applicants may modify their application to address issues of ineligibility.
- Applications that are found to be suitable for funding will be forwarded to the City Council for their review and approval.
- After City Council approval, the applicant will enter into a contract with the City for the grant funding. The contract will describe the grant terms and conditions in detail.
- Project Budget Example →
- Upon completion of the project, the funded applicant will submit an invoice and backup documentation showing the expenditure of the project funds.
- The invoice and documentation will be reviewed to make sure it is complete.
- A City purchase order will be prepared once the invoice and documentation have been determined to be complete.
- The purchase order will be forwarded to the Finance Department for approval.
- The approved purchase order will then be sent to the applicant for their signature and return to DPCED.
- Once the signed purchase order is received back from the applicant, it will be forwarded to the Finance Department for payment by check.
- The Finance Department will mail the grant check to the applicant.