City Grant/Loan Programs
If you are currently working on a business plan or if you are just in the beginning stages, it is important to know that the City of Fayetteville has designed programs just for you.
Offering economic incentives for investment in the district, these programs help encourage the restoration of facades through rehabilitation and offer loans for small business owners investing in our community and jobs. Through the City’s Community Development department, programs are offered including the following:
Business Assistance Loan Program
The Business Assistance Program provides funding to assist a small business owner in the city limits of Fayetteville with the additional equity or down payment needed in order to qualify for primary financing. The City of Fayetteville’s loan works in conjunction with a primary loan from a bank or other approved lender. The City will offer a subordinated loan up to 25% or a maximum of $125,000 of the total loan funds needed. Loans up to $200,000 will be considered for small businesses acquiring and renovating properties in the downtown historic district.
A small business first applies for a loan at a bank or approved lender. Once the standard underwriting criteria is met and the need for additional funds are identified, the small business may apply for a city loan to provide the gap financing or down payment required for the primary loan. The primary bank or lender must include the City’s potential loan payment in their credit analysis to confirm the small business can qualify for both loans and make a recommendation to the City to consider the small business for the additional loan funds.
Façade Improvement Grant Program
This program is designed to promote the revitalization of facades of active for-profit businesses through the rehabilitation of commercial building exteriors and landscapes in any of the City’s redevelopment plan areas. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching reimbursement grant up to $5,000 for each façade renovated.
The building must be located within the 3,000 acres of the Fayetteville Renaissance Plan area, including census tract 10 or the Massey Hill, Bonnie Doone, Deep Creek Rd., 71st Township, HOPE VI or Murchison Rd. redevelopment areas. The applicant must be the owner or long-term lessee of the property.
The building space design of the project should be sympathetic to the original integrity of the building, compatible with neighboring structures and of a quality that suggests the improvements will last a reasonable period of time. Since part of downtown is a historic district, the Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission must be included in the design review process for those properties located in the downtown historic district. The City Historic Property Manager, Bruce Daws, may be contacted at 910-433-1457 for guidance on a project.
Funds may be used for, but not limited to, brick cleaning and repairing, painting, window and/or door repair and replacement, landscaping, canopies, awnings, signage, lighting replacement or repair, and other permanent improvements to the exterior of the property.
Small Business Development Grant Program
The Small Business Development Grant Program is designed to assist with the startup and development of small businesses in the city limits of Fayetteville. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching grant up to a maximum of $5,000 for eligible small business expenses. Eligible clients must be referred by the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development (CEED) in order to be considered for this program.
Eligible small businesses must be an approved client of one of the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development Center’s (CEED) loan programs.
Referrals for consideration for this grant program shall come from a CEED business consultant. The CEED business consultant will be able to confirm the small business client has the necessary funds in place to successfully start and develop a business and identify how the additional grant funds are needed.
Referral clients will have successfully completed a series of small business training at CEED, resulting in a completed business plan approved by CEED. Small businesses that have the proper training prior and during the launch of their small business will have a higher success rate by obtaining the core knowledge and skills. A completed business plan will guide the business through the process and future development of the business.
Each business applicant is able to receive only one grant award from this program. The small business must have a signed lease in place or ownership of a property in order to qualify. Home-based businesses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Special consideration will be given to small businesses located in any of the City’s redevelopment plan areas.
Small Business Retention Grant Program
This program is designed to assist with the expansion costs of existing small businesses. The objective is to retain or create jobs and retain businesses in the City’s redevelopment plan areas. Each redevelopment area is unique with its own issues and opportunities. Funds are available to existing small business owners located within one of the boundaries of the Fayetteville Renaissance, HOPE VI, Murchison Rd., Massey Hill, Bonnie Doone, 71st Township and Deep Creek Rd. plan areas.
Grants for furniture, fixtures, equipment, and interior and exterior renovations can be considered for this program. Items that can be deemed for personal use can’t be considered for this program. In addition, salaries, rent and building-related expenses (phone bills, electricity, etc.) are not eligible expenses for this program. Eligibility is considered on a case-by-case basis.
The small business must be operational for no less than one year and the owner must be able to provide business financials to include a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and tax return for a full year of operation. Each business applicant is able to receive only one grant award from this program. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching reimbursement grant up to $5,000.
Each applicant must receive at least one private consultation with a small business consultant at the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development (CEED). Comments received from the small business consultant will be considered when rendering a grant decision.
Requirements that apply to all programs:
Job Creation/Retention: Since the programs are federally funded with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, a HUD national objective must be met that will provide a benefit to low to moderate-income persons along with other federal requirements. Each business that participates with these programs must meet a job creation or retention requirement benefiting a low to moderate-income person.
Davis-Bacon Act: Construction projects that exceed $2,000 and funded in whole or part with federal funds must also comply with the Davis Bacon Act. This act mandates minimum hourly payments to all employees employed on a construction project.
Environmental Review: Projects are also subject to an environmental review process. This process must be completed before an approved project can begin. An environmental review is the process of reviewing a project and its potential environmental impacts to determine whether it meets federal, state, and local environmental standards. This process can take a week to 60 days, depending on the level of review required.
Committee Review: There is a checklist of required documents and program forms that must accompany the completed application for all programs for review by the loan or grant committee. All requests must be approved and a grant agreement or loan documents must be signed by the applicant before the project can begin.
The City reserves the right to deny a grant or loan request by a small business that is not deemed feasible or does not meet a need or desire of the respective community. Non-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
For more information on these programs, please contact Michelle Haire, Economic Development Administrator, at 910-433-1596.
And, of course, if you have other questions about opening up your business downtown include other funding sources, commercial or residential spaces and more, feel free to call the Downtown Development office at 910-433-1599.
Other Programs Available
CEED Capital Loan Program: CEED has a local and SBA monies for small businesses. CCLP can help small businesses from 5K-5M, which has funded many downtown businesses from working capital to property purchase and improvements.