Storefront Improvement

The Storefront Improvement Grant encourages business owners and commercial property owners to enhance their commercial storefront. Applications for 2019 will be accepted beginning January 15, 2019. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2019.

Objectives

The program intends to achieve the following:

  • To improve the visual aesthetic of commercial property and adjoining streetscape
  • To increase sales and traffic for business owners and commercial property owners
  • To encourage business owners and commercial property owners to invest in their property for long-term viability

Funding

The Grant will cover up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $10,000 per property. With respect to this grant, a property can be either an entire commercial building or a single unit within a multiple unit commercial building. The amount of the grant will be based on the following criteria:

  • Benefit to the business
  • Alignment with business district
  • Size and scope of the project
  • Visual aesthetics of the project

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Storefront Improvement Grant:

  • Property must be located within the City of Fort Saskatchewan
  • Applicants must have a valid Resident Business Licence to operate within the City of Fort Saskatchewan
  • Applicant must be either the owner or a tenant of the commercial property which will receive improvements
  • If a tenant is the applicant, they must provide written authorization from the registered property owner. Tenants should have a minimum of three (3) years remaining on a lease from the date of the application
  • Property is only eligible to receive one grant within a three (3) year period. If a unit within a multi-unit commercial building receives a grant, the remaining units will still be eligible to receive a grant
  • Ground floor commercial use(s) will be given priority; however, applications for second story uses or higher are also eligible
  • Applicants who are in arrears of municipal taxes or utilities for any owned property in Fort Saskatchewan will not be eligible
  • Applicants who have previously received a Business Development Program Grant from the City within the past 3 years will not be eligible. The single exception is if they have received the Small Business Education Grant

Download the Storefront Improvement Grant Application and Guidelines

FAQs

Am I required to use local contractors when applying for any of the Business Development Program Grants?

No. While we encourage businesses to use other local business, we want to ensure that applicants have the ability to seek out the most competitive quotations for their projects.

I have a project that would qualify under two grants. Can I apply for both?

You are permitted to submit applications for more than one grant; however, you would only be eligible to receive one grant.

Can I receive more than one grant?

Business owners and commercial property owners are only eligible to receive one grant every three years. If you receive a grant in 2016, you would not be eligible for another grant until 2019.

The only exception is the Small Business Education Grant. Recipients of a Small Business Education grant would be eligible for another Business Development Program grant; however, you would not be eligible for another Small Business Education Grant for three years.

For the Storefront Improvement Grant, I plan on performing some of the work myself. Can I submit my labour as an eligible expense?

No. While you are permitted to perform work yourself, any labour done yourself or provided in-kind is an ineligible expense.

Are signs eligible for the Storefront Improvement Program?

Signs may be included as part of an overall storefront improvement; however, applications that are exclusively for storefront signs will not be considered.

Note that signs may also be eligible under the Small Business Marketing Grant as part of a marketing project.

I am the owner of a home-based business. Am I eligible for the Storefront Improvement Grant?

No. Only commercial property is eligible for the Storefront Improvement Grant.

I own a commercial property and my tenant received a Storefront Improvement Grant. Am I eligible for a second grant if I apply as a landlord?

No. A property is only eligible for one grant every three years. The property owner will have the responsibility of deciding whether they will apply for the grant themselves of whether they will give their tenant(s) the authority to apply.

If the property is a multi-tenant commercial building with multiple storefronts, other units may be eligible for a Storefront Improvement Grant, however any units that have benefited from the grant would not be eligible again for three years.

I lease space for my business. Am I eligible for the Storefront Improvement Grant?

Yes, as long as you have the approval of the property owner.