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Applications are Open for Newly Enhanced Downtown Storefront Upfit Grant (SUG) Program

Applications are Open for Newly Enhanced Downtown Storefront Upfit Grant (SUG) Program

Eligible Funding Amounts Now Increased with a Priority Area Centered on Fayetteville Street

RALEIGH, NC – Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) has updated grant requirements and award amounts for its Storefront Upfit Grant (SUG)to better attract new and expanding storefront businesses to downtown. These updates aim to bolster small business development and success in downtown’s core, with an emphasis on upfit on and around Fayetteville Street, which serves as Raleigh’s main street.

“Fayetteville Street is the main street of our city, and we are looking to attract businesses to our storefronts to elevate one of the most important streets of our state. Doing business on Fayetteville Street is a prime opportunity to lead in the heart of downtown, and we are backing that opportunity with real investment from our organization,” said DRA President and CEO, Bill King, “Our intention is to make our downtown core–and downtown as a whole–an even more creative, dynamic, and inclusive place.”

DRA offers this grant program to incentivize and attract new retail, restaurant, and service businesses, as well as aid in the expansion of existing retail businesses, direct increased support to strategic areas such as Fayetteville Street and nearby streets, accommodate pop-up uses that may convert to long-term tenants, better support Minority- and Women-owned businesses, and ultimately drive a thriving storefront economy in Downtown Raleigh.

DRA will offer grant funding to selected businesses in Downtown Raleigh via reimbursement of up to $15,000 to cover upfit and stand-up expenses associated with opening. Storefront businesses that are 50% or more Minority- or Women-owned (MWBE) are eligible for an additional $2,500 in funding. Retail, restaurant, service and pop-up businesses in the priority area centered on Fayetteville Street (map attached shows full priority area) are eligible for up to $15,000 in funding. Retail-focused businesses in the larger Downtown Raleigh area are eligible for up to $7,500 in funding.

Grant applications will be processed and reviewed by DRA staff upon receipt and processed through an external review committee on at least a quarterly basis. Final approval and grant agreement will be issued by DRA staff.

Since the launch of the Storefront Upfit Grant program in 2021, DRA has distributed thirteen (13) grants totaling $92,500 and which have leveraged a combined overall investment of nearly $1.7M in downtown.

As of February 1, 2023, there is $57,500 in remaining funding available via the program for the fiscal year ending June 2023. The program will continue in the new fiscal year starting July 2023 and the total funding pool for the year will be replenished at that time. The next deadline to submit an upfit application is by March 1, 2023.

Detailed eligibility information as well as process timeline, application materials, and program contact information can be found here.