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Facade Improvement Grant

Norfolk’s new Façade Improvement Grant was created in partnership with the business community to revitalize urban commercial corridors and uplift the surrounding neighborhoods they serve. The Façade Grant will offer eligible commercial building owners and small businesses the means to undertake exterior and interior renovations, such as fresh paint, new signage, improved lighting, and aesthetic and operational upgrades that align with the areas’ unique character.

The City of Norfolk is a vibrant and diverse community dedicated to fostering economic growth, community development, and sustainable progress. The Facade Improvement Grant is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the visual appeal of our commercial corridors and strengthening the bond between businesses and neighborhoods. With this initiative, we embark on a journey of transformation that will pave the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for all.

Applicants must be a Norfolk-based business or commercial property owner at the time of application submission. Please review all of the drop down menus on the Commerical Corridor page for detailed information regarding applicant qualifications, eligibility requirements, and grant parameters.

Who can apply for the Facade Improvement Grant?

  • Owners of for-profit commercial buildings in neighborhood serving commercial corridors.
    • The building’s use must conform to all current codes and ordinances; non-conforming uses of any kind are not allowed.
  • Business/Tenant eligibility
    • Existing business looking to expand.
    • Home-based businesses interested in moving to bricks and mortar.
      • Franchise businesses, non-profits and religious institutions are not eligible to apply.
    • Tenants applying for a façade grant must have approval from the owner at the time the grant application is submitted.
  • Application Requirements
    • Applicants must provide conceptual drawing/renderings prior to application submission.
    • Applicants must be up to date on all taxes, permits, and fees upon submission of application.
  • Applicants must attend a MANDATORY Commercial Corridor Façade Grant Workshop prior to applying. Please visit Development’s website to view a list of workshop dates and times.

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, please check out our resource partners at the bottom of the page for more information about assistance for your business!

Important Reminders:

  • Entities that are ineligible to apply for the FIG grant program include: Not-for-profit, faith-based organizations, political organizations, adult bookstores, adult video shops, other adult entertainment facilities, gambling facilities, blood or plasma donor centers and pawn shops.
  • Business owners who are employees of the City of Norfolk, elected or appointed officials or officers of the City of Norfolk, employees or board members of the City of Norfolk Economic Development Authority are not eligible to apply to the Program.

For Property Owners

  • Grant amount: Up to $50,000 with a 10% match
  • All projects must be completed in one-(1) year from execution of grant agreement.
  • Allowable Purchases include, but are not limited to:

    Exterior – building entrances, lights, doors, windows, awnings, brick, art murals, stone, tuck-pointing, building surfaces, painting, parking lots, signage.

    Interior – mechanical, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, fire suppression, flooring, utility upgrades, wall installation or removal

    Architectural/Design Services

  • Ineligible Purchases: purchasing of real estate, operating licenses, permitting and fees, inventory, materials, business equipment, marketing, and advertising, payroll and/or salaries, and furniture.

For Tenants/Businesses

  • Grant Amount: Up to $25,000 with a 10% match
  • Tenants must have letter of support from their landlords to apply.
  • Tenants must have at least 18 months remaining on lease at the time of application.
  • Home-based business or existing business looking to expand
  • All projects must be completed in one-(1) year from execution of grant agreement.
  • Allowable Purchases include, but are not limited to:

    Exterior – exterior signage, awnings

    Interior – flooring, interior lighting, removal and/or installation of interior walls, removal and/or installation of restrooms, doors, windows, painting

    Architectural/Design services

  • Ineligible Purchases: Operating licenses, permitting and fees, inventory, materials, equipment, marketing, and advertising, payroll and/or salaries, purchasing of real estate, and furniture.

*Please note these are reimbursable grants. The funding is limited, and all grants are competitive. The Economic Development Authority will award grants on a quarterly basis until all funds are expended. All awards are subject to application approval by the Façade Grant Committee.

2024 Facade Improvement Grant Applications

The Round 3 Application Portal is now CLOSED.

General Program Information

For Questions or General Inquiries