BUSINESS INCENTIVES AND GRANT PROGRAMS IN DOWNTOWN CLEARWATER

Planning and development for the revitalization of Downtown Clearwater is in full swing. The City is proud to offer distinct business opportunities in Florida and invite you to explore our business incentive programs and business grant programs below.

Food and Drink Business Tenant Grant Program – Grants awarded

The city of Clearwater’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Food and Drink Tenant Grant Program was a time limited opportunity for tenants within the CRA. The grant application period closed on December 15, 2018 and grants were awarded in February 2019 by the CRA Trustees.

 

Food and Drink Grant Program for Property Owners – Applications closed

The city of Clearwater’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Food and Drink Grant Program for Property Owners provides grant funding to commercial property owners to assist with building improvements.  The goal of the program is to provide financial support to commercial property owners in downtown to renovate their buildings to attract food and/or drink businesses that are open on nights and weekends.  This will help stimulate the local economy and improve quality of life for Clearwater residents and visitors. This time limited grant opportunity began November 1, 2018 and will end May 1, 2019 or when the funding has been exhausted, whichever comes first. Property owners who prequalified by November 30, 2018 were notified and had to submit their full application by March 1, 2019. All Food and Drink grant requests require the approval of the CRA Trustees.

Food and Drink Property Owners Grant Program

Full Application Food and Drink Property Owners Grant Program

Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Façade Improvement Program

Type of Program: Grant/Loan

Program Allocation Guidelines: Part 1: Design Services – Up to $4,000 per address. Part 2: Façade Improvement – fast track grant of $25,000 grant, 50/50 match. Additional funds are available as a percentage according to meeting a set of criteria. 

Program Overview and General Eligibility Criteria: Funds are for design assistance and façade renovations. Facade Improvement Grant property must be in the CRA. Tenant or property owners are eligible. Business Tax Receipt (formerly known as an Occupational License) must be current. Application must be approved prior to work being started.

Program Approval: Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)

Documents:

 

Sidewalk Café Furniture

Type of Program: Grant

Program Allocation Guidelines: Up to 75% of total cost, applicant pays 25%. Up to $2,500 per grant

Program Overview and General Eligibility Criteria: Available to property owners or tenants for outdoor furniture (tables, chairs and umbrellas) specified in an approved site plan from the City’s Planning Department. Pre-application meeting required with Planning Department. Submittal of a completed Sidewalk Cafe Furniture Grant Application. Copy of approved Sidewalk Cafe Permit. Business Tax Receipt must be current. Street furnishings purchased prior to approval are ineligible for reimbursement.

Program Approval: Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)

Documents:

  • Sidewalk Cafe Furniture Grant Application
  • 2017 Sidewalk Cafe Furniture Grant Program

 

Downtown/East Gateway Façade and Building Lot Improvement Program

Type of Program: Loan-to-Grant

Program Allocation Guidelines: Up to $35,000 in loan-to-grant funds (property owner that contributes private funds equal to or greater than 20% of the established loan amount).

Program Overview and General Eligibility Criteria: Project funding assistance to eligible property owners to help offset eligible project costs (e.g. site plan, construction plans, permits, building materials and construction services). Program loans are 0% interest, and they transition to a grant over a 5-year period. Properties must be located either on Gulf to Bay Blvd. or Cleveland Street in the Downtown/East Gateway District [between Missouri Avenue (west), Highland Avenue (east), Court Street (south) and Drew Street (north)]. Business Tax Receipt must be current and property cannot have current or outstanding code violations. Application must be approved prior to work being started.

Program Approval: Economic & Housing Department – Downtown/East Gateway

Documents:

 

Community Redevelopment Agency Incentive Request

The majority of the CRA’s annual funding is allocated to capital improvement projects and existing grant programs. The 2018 Clearwater Downtown Redevelopment Plan contains an adopted evaluation framework for all incentive requests listed below:

  • Is the proposed incentive compliant with federal, state and local laws?
  • Is the proposed incentive aligned with the Vision and Goals of the 2018 Downtown Redevelopment Plan?
  • Has the private sector attempted to implement this project without an incentive?
  • What is the expected return on investment from a financial and public benefit perspective?
  • Does the site/building under consideration have adequate access to the required public infrastructure and/or public utilities to support the proposed use?

Download the form here. Please read and fill out this form to initiate a conversation about incentives.