Business Improvement Grant Program (BIG)

Program Details

The Business Improvement Grant (BIG) Program provides financial assistance for building/business owners to make exterior improvements in the Central Area Commercial District (CA) of Gainesville, TX. The Gainesville Economic Development Corporation aims to invest $138,730 into Downtown Revitalization efforts in the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
Financial assistance will be reviewed, approved, and awarded at the sole discretion of the GEDC Board of Directors. Interested parties can view the brochure and application or contact the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation with questions at (940) 665-5241 or BIGProgram@cogtx.org. Financial assistance will be reviewed, approved, and awarded at the sole discretion of the GEDC Board of Directors.

See Big Improvement Program Success Stories Here

See Zoning Map here

  • A business owner may receive financial assistance from the BIG Program for one building per fiscal year (October 1 to September 30).
  • Funding will be disbursed as a reimbursement after the applicant submits paid receipts for the completed project and a certificate of occupancy is issued for the building for commercial use.
  • Grants are available for up to 50 percent reimbursement with a maximum reimbursement of $7,500. Projects totals must meet a minimum of $2,500 to qualify. 
  • Grants may not be used for the refinance of existing loans, working capital, or for the purchase of inventory or interior projects.
  • Grant applicants must secure their portion of the project cost before the start of the improvements and submit written documentation to the GEDC.
  • All projects shall be completed by local contractors who meet all licensing requirements and shall comply with all applicable building codes of the City of Gainesville. Out-of-town contractors shall only be considered if the project applied for financial assistance cannot be completed by local contractors.
  • Project owners and/or contractors shall acquire all necessary permits; grant proceeds may not be used for permitting costs.

Eligible Improvements

  • Complete fa├žade rehabilitation.
  • Replacement of window panes, window frames, broken storefront glass, and doors.
  • Exterior treatments, such as brick, tile, stucco, stone, wood, or siding.
  • Exterior lighting.
  • Exterior signage: permits for permanent signage must be secured from the City of Gainesville.
  • Addition or replacement of canopies or window awnings or window treatments such as tint.
  • Addition or replacement of ADA compliant entry-ways/access.
  • Restoration of historic or significant architectural features.
  • Roof repair: Only in conjunction with other improvements that do not exceed more than 80percent of the total requested grant.

Ineligible Improvements

  • New commercial construction.
  • Construction performed or placed under contract prior to approval of project application.
  • Construction permits.
  • Purchase or replacement of tools or equipment.
  • Murals/street art. 
  • Parking lots/allotments. 
  • Interior remodeling or renovation.
  • Landscaping/outdoor seating/benches/pots/planters.
  • Fencing or burglar bars.
  • Alarm system/security of building/cameras. 
  • Electricity or plumbing. 
  • Insurance.
  • Pest control treatments.
  • Clean-up costs.

Application Process

  • Applicant completes application (online and paper formats available) and submits all materials to the GEDC. GEDC Staff review all submissions.
  • If approved by the GEDC staff, the applicant presents to the GEDC Board of Directors. Presentations will be made at GEDC monthly board meetings.
  • The application will be reviewed, and if eligible, granted within 30 days from the presentation.
  • Approval of the application is at the sole discretion of the GEDC Board of Directors. Approval is not guaranteed.
  • Should the application be rejected, the GEDC may suggest changes or improvements to it. If the applicant complies with the changes, the grant can be reconsidered at the next meeting.