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, 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:
Commercial Redevelopment Loan Program
This program is designed to attract existing small businesses to any of the City’s redevelopment plan areas, including the downtown Fayetteville Renaissance Plan area. Loans are available for the acquisition, renovation or construction of a commercial property for businesses with at least a three year financial history. The minimum loan considered is $50,000 and the maximum is $300,000. The City partners with local banks to fund this loan pool. The City puts in 40% of each loan and offers an attractive fixed interest rate of 4% and the banks share the other 60% at variable prime.
Business Assistance Loan Program
This program is available to small businesses investing anywhere within the City limits of Fayetteville. It offers assistance with gap financing or down payment assistance. The business owner would first make application to a bank for a primary loan and after being approved and identifying a gap in financing can apply. The City will consider a loan up to $125,000 or 25% of the total loan funds needed. Due to the additional costs associated with renovating a building in the downtown historic district, loans may be considered up to $200,000. The City offers a low fixed interest rate of 5% and an even lower rate of 3% if the business is located within one of the City’s redevelopment plan areas, including the downtown Fayetteville Renaissance Plan area.
Façade Improvement Grant Program
This program encourages downtown businesses as well as those located within any of the other City redevelopment plan areas to improve the exteriors of their commercial property. Improvements may include, but are not limited to new signage, awnings, painting, new doors and windows and other improvements that improve the property exterior. The City will provide a 50% matching reimbursement grant up to a maximum of $5,000 for each project. The City grant must be approved prior to the work commencing on the property due to the federal requirements that apply to this grant program.
Small Business Retention Grant Program
This program is designed to assist with the expansion costs of small businesses with the objective of retaining businesses in the City’s redevelopment plan areas, including the downtown plan area. The City of Fayetteville will provide a 50% matching reimbursement grant up to $5,000 for eligible expenses to include property improvements and select equipment purchases and upgrades. The City grant must be approved prior to any purchases being made or the commencement of the building repairs for eligibility determination and to verify compliance with the federal requirements that apply to this grant program.
Urban Progress Zones
This incentive program provides economic incentives to stimulate new investment and job creation n economically distressed areas. The designation of these zones offers an enhancement to the Article 3J state tax credits that are available to eligible taxpayers. The City of Fayetteville has two Urban Progress Zones that are effective beginning January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011.
HubZone Empowerment Contracting Program
A HubZone is defined as a historically underutilized business zone. This program stimulates economic development and creates jobs by providing Federal contracting preferences to small businesses located in distressed areas. Cumberland County has eight census tracts that qualify as HubZones, all but one being located within the City limits of Fayetteville.
The City contracts with both the Women’s Business Center and Fayetteville Business Center to assist with the development and nurturing of small businesses. The Women’s Business Center guides both start up and expanding small businesses through the process with one-on-one counseling, business plan assistance, workshops and training and loan packaging. The Fayetteville Business Center offers Youth Entrepreneurship and Investment Training camps, a Hubcontractor Business Academy and in collaboration with the Small Business Technology and Development Center an NXLevel training class for start-up businesses.
For more information on these programs, please contact Michelle Haire, Economic Development Administrator, at 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 433-1599.