Supporting, Revitalizing and Growing Businesses
2023 Recruitment & Retention Grant Program Details
Objective: The objective of the Recruitment and Retention Grant Program is a matching grant designed to encourage new businesses to our downtown and help retain current businesses. The focus is to aid with the maintenance, rehabilitation, and upgrading of existing commercial properties within the Business Improvement District. The programs intention is to encourage business growth and to make a positive statement about the downtown Janesville business climate to the community, visitors, existing and potential business tenants. The maximum award is $1,000 or up to 50% in matching funds.
Applications may be submitted year-round and are reviewed on a rolling basis at scheduled BID Executive meetings.
Eligible expenses: Include but are not limited to repair and/or replacement of original building materials, design or maintenance improvements, tuck-pointing and masonry repair, exterior cameras, signage, and interior remodeling/expansion.
Grant terms: Grants made under this program shall be a minimum $500 and shall not exceed $1,000 per building. The applicant is expected to provide at least a 50% match or his or her own capital to the total project cost. Grants will only be given for projects that have a minimum investment of $1,000 per building. Grant monies will only be distributed after a project is completed and certified. The Design Committee reserves the right to offer matching grants in anywhere in the range of $500 and $1,000 based on need and or overall physical impact on the build environment. Awarded BID Dollars will be paid upon completion of the project as submitted and based upon review by 2 BID board members.
Sponsors: The matching grant program is funded by an allocation of funds from the Business Improvement District (BID). BID is funded through an assessment system that levies a special assessment against property owners within the Business Improvement District.
Eligibility Requirements: All taxable commercial and mixed-use properties located within the Business Improvement District are eligible for this program, with the exception of publicly owned buildings. All properties must be in conforming use under the City’s zoning ordinance except a commercial use that is non-conforming due to lot, bulk, or yard requirements and/or for which a variance has been granted. For the purpose of these programs, no income producing residential properties will be considered as commercial properties. Properties will not be eligible if any special improvement district or property assessments are not paid to date. Grants will only be given for buildings with outstanding building code violations if the grant is primarily intended to reverse those code violations as a first priority. Only one grant per year per property owner and or tenant per building or address will be allowed. Grant application must be received before work begins. The same grant can only be awarded to the same recipient every 3 years. This is meant to encourage a larger number of businesses receiving grants.
Applicants: Owners, leasers, or a joint venture of these two parties may submit an application under this grant program. Tenants must submit written approval of the property owner and evidence of their leasehold interest.
Application Submittal: To be formally considered for a grant, complete an online application (see below), or download a PDF version, complete in full, and submit to the BID via email.
Application Review: BID Executive Director or equivalent shall review submittals to determine that all information is complete and accurate. The BID Executive Committee will then review all applications to assure compliance with the Design Guidelines. Applicants are notified of grant awarded. Once approved (with or without modifications), the project must be adhered to the plan submitted. Should an applicant deviate substantially from the approved plan, the BID will not release the grant money.
Grant Payment: If all the following conditions are met, the BID will provide the applicant with a certificate of completion indicating that the applicant has acted in good faith and has completed the project satisfactorily and BID will release a check made out to the applicant to the amount agreed upon in the contract. Certificates of completion will be released when:
- Applicant supplies documentation that any permits required under the City’s Building and Zoning Codes have been taken out.
- All work is completed within the time period agreed upon or amended between the applicant and BID.
- All work completed follows the agreed upon design.
- Documentation of Applicants matching investment must be supplied.