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Incentives and Business Resources

The DRA wants to provide the best resources to help you start your business here in Downtown Raleigh. In addition to the business resources listed below, there are other opportunities that could assist in the project, including:

DRA Grants and Small Business Support Programs

DRA Storefront Upfit Grant: Learn more about DRA’s grant program to help new and expanding storefront businesses with their upfit and standup costs. Eligible business uses include retail, restaurant, service, and pop-up. This program combines the former DRA Retail Upfit Grant and Pop Up Downtown programs into one combined and expanded program with increased eligibility, increased award amounts and an increased amount of total funds available. The new grant also implements a new funding booster for businesses that are 50% or more minority or women-owned.

DRA Small Business Workshops: As part of our mission to advance the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone, DRA supports downtown's business owners with quarterly small business workshops.

City of Raleigh Grants and Incentives

Facade Grant Program: Learn more about the City of Raleigh’s grant program to help downtown storefront businesses and property owners with improving the façades of their buildings.

Building Up-fit Grant: Learn more about the City of Raleigh’s grant program to help tenants defray up to $25,000 in up-fit costs.

Starting a New Business

The City of Raleigh has provided a useful list of questions and answers for prospective business owners to review. Learn the common questions about starting a new business in the City or Raleigh.

Small Business Center (SBC) at Wake Tech Community College

The Small Business Center at Wake Tech Community College is a state funded organization which is part of the Small Business Center Network of North Carolina. The SBC provides small business owners with information they need for starting or expanding their small business and offers, confidential, one-on-one counseling with the Small Business Center Director. For more information call (919) 335-1001.

Raleigh SCORE

Raleigh SCORE offers free business counseling resources. For more information, call (919) 856-4739 from Monday - Friday from 9 am - 12 pm.

NC Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC)

The SBTDC is the business and technology extension service of the University of North Carolina which oversees the 16 constituent institutions of the University system. The SBTDC is administered by North Carolina State and operated in partnership with US Small Business Administration. It is committed to providing knowledge, education and other supportive resources that enable existing small and mid-sized businesses, emerging entrepreneurs and local/state leaders to innovate and succeed. For more information, please contact (919) 715-7272 or (800) 258-0862 (in NC only), email them at

Business Link North Carolina

BLNC, or "blink," is a business resource access point for an extensive network of experts who can help your business succeed. Business Link North Carolina can connect you to services provided by state-supported agencies, many of which are free. Call BLNC toll-free at (800) 228-8443, or local at (919) 807-4280, Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm EST to talk with one of their business counselors.

N.C. Capital Access Program

This program expands business finance options for businesses across the state. By reducing risk, it encourages banks and other qualified lenders to consider loans that otherwise fall just outside of conventional underwriting standards. For a list of participating banks and institutions as well as more information about the program, visit or contact Tony Johnson (919) 250-4314 at the NC Rural Economic Development Center.

The Support Center

Assists with funding available through Community Development Credit Unions.