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DRA Expands Storefront Business Resource Initiatives

Media Contact –
Taylor Rankin, Sr. Marketing and Communications Manager, Downtown Raleigh Alliance 919.821.6976

DRA Expands Storefront Business Resource Initiatives, Launches Storefront Upfit Grant
Now Accepting Applications from Eligible Businesses

RALEIGH, NC – Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) has combined two existing storefront business resource programs into a new and expanded Downtown Storefront Upfit Grant to more efficiently and effectively support existing and future Downtown Raleigh businesses. DRA is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs interested in opening a storefront concept and existing downtown retail businesses looking to expand in Downtown Raleigh.

The Storefront Upfit Grant funding pool for fiscal year 2021-2022 (July ’21 thru June ’22) has grown to $50,000, and it is anticipated that DRA will be able to fund at least five grants this fiscal year.

Awarded funds can be used for upfit and standup expenses. The program has funding options for retail, restaurant, service and pop-up businesses and an expanded area of eligibility in Downtown Raleigh from the previous grant program.

“This program is a great way for us to broaden the scale of our storefront recruitment and small business support efforts,” said Bill King, President & CEO at Downtown Raleigh Alliance. “The Storefront Upfit Grant will help a more diverse selection of businesses with more funding and aligns with our ongoing efforts to help Downtown recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

The maximum funding available per eligible business is $10,000. Businesses that are 50% or more minority-or-woman-owned are eligible for an additional $2,500 in funding above use-specific funding levels. “One of the most important aspects of the Storefront Upfit Grant is the Minority and Woman-Owned Business Booster,” said Roxanne Lundy, DRA’s Storefront Manager.

“Businesses that are 50% or more minority-owned or woman-owned may apply for additional funding as we look to add to the diversity of Downtown’s storefront economy.”

DRA has seen a history of success with its small business resource programs. In the past year alone, DRA awarded more than 100 grants totaling nearly $400,000 to small, locally-owned businesses in downtown Raleigh to help them pivot or expand.

The application deadline for the next funding round is August 15. Eligibility information for the Storefront Upfit Grant, as well as process timeline and application materials can be found at

About Downtown Raleigh Alliance

DRA’s mission is: Advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone. The DRA facilitates this mission through five goals: 1) Building a culture of authentic engagement and inclusion with Downtown’s diverse community; 2) Fostering a thriving and diverse storefront economy; 3) Facilitating strategic partnerships to produce positive, balanced activations across Downtown; 4) Improving physical connectivity and accessibility within and around Downtown; 5) Positioning the DRA as reliable, responsive, representative, and mission-directed. ###