Banking & Finance

Big help for small businesses: City of Fayetteville's Commercial Corridor Exterior Grant Program is working to revive and refresh small businesses

By Faith Hatton, posted 4 weeks ago
The Custom Concepts Body Works building located at 525 Cumberland St. is one example of successful utilization of the program. Funds can be used for paint jobs, window work and new signage for the businesses along with other exterior improvements. Photos provided by Fayetteville Economic & Community Development.

The City of Fayetteville’s Economic & Community Development department is making a financial effort to improve the look and feel of the City. 

The Commercial Corridor Exterior Grant Program provided by the City of Fayetteville is a matching grant program that provides small businesses, or commercial property owners that lease to small businesses, funding to improve their business property's façade.

The program provides a one-time reimbursement of up to $25,000 per property for eligible exterior improvements for buildings located within city limits.

“This is a program that is designed to support revitalization in the city’s current low/ moderate income block groups. We do this by stimulating private investment and high quality improvements that enhance the area,” shared Economic Development Manager Derrick McArthur. “It can be used to reduce slums and blights, enhance the appearance of properties and update non-conforming design standards.”

McArthur shared that within the past two years more than 27 applicants have taken advantage of the program to fund improvements to the outside of their small businesses. While one of the main goals of the program is to target the city’s commercial corridors such as Murchison Road, the program is eligible to properties across the city.

“We can use that for everything from doing your parking lot to putting up new signage. One thing that I think is not used for enough is these new design standards that businesses have to come up to. We have money to help you. The Commercial Corridor program has had some places where we’ve been able to do some transformative things,” said McArthur. 

Current success stories include the All American Drivers Education Inc. building located at 312 N. Racepath Ave, the Custom Concepts Body Works building located at 525 Cumberland St. and the RDL Therapeutic building located at 3591 Murchison Rd. 

Fayetteville Resident and Owner of RDL Therapeutic Darnisha James was a recipient of the grant and chose to apply after learning about the resource from a friend. After completing the application process and receiving the maximum amount of $25,000, she was able to transform the exterior of what was formerly an Advance Auto Parts building into a façade matching the medical office within, where patients receive occupational and physical therapy. 

Funds went towards new signage on the front and side of the building, painting the exterior and tinting the windows. 

“When I first moved into the building, I was leasing it and then the owner asked if I wanted to buy it. So at that point I wanted to invest more, but we were already spending a lot of money doing things and so when the city had this opportunity, it was perfect,” shared James. “I think the difference with this program is that the city wants to highlight businesses. The city wants to see the businesses grow and have opportunities. More attention has been drawn to my business because of the exterior now. ”

Applications for the program are open year round and are available on the City of Fayetteville’s website. Select the Economic and Community Development section and all of the programs will be listed under the Business Resources tab. 

Projects exceeding $25,000 MAY be eligible for matching reimbursement based on the discretion of the ECD Director and Grant Committee. Factors for approval include but are not limited to impact in redevelopment areas, securing job growth and securing increased taxable value. The applicant is eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement on expenses equal to or less than $25,000. A qualification requirement includes having a signed agreement before the commencement of work.

“The heavy lifting is going to be getting your estimates. We will need a minimum of two estimates for the work you’re going to do. We’ll take that lowest bid to licensed general contractors and we’ll walk you through every step of that process,” said McArthur. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The City of Fayetteville’s Economic & Community Development department is always ready to serve the residents of Fayetteville. Learn more about their programs online at www.fayettevillenc. gov/city-services/economic-community-development-4035

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT

In The Current Issue

Full time family: Ross I.T. Services co-owner Kellie Ross finds balance between family and running a business

From right to left: The Ross family includes Ross I.T. Services Founder and Co-owner Sam Ross, the youngest in the family Caroline (7), Co-owner Kellie Ross and oldest daughter Hannah (14). Photo provided by Kellie Ross.For the past 18 years, Kellie


Not for profit, for people: CFVH Foundation Vice President shares about her experience navigating motherhood as a working professional

Brooks shared that her favorite part of the role that she has now is working with donors and helping them take their philanthropic investment in health care and see it put to use. Photo provided by CFVH.Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation Vice Preside


Publisher's note: Finding solutions

In May, the Greater Fayetteville Business Journal celebrated small business month and Mother’s Day! In an effort to further recognize both of these important events, we have assembled a few stories highlighting working mothers and “mom-owned” small b