Business Facade Improvement Program

An attractive storefront is like a welcome mat.

Here's an opportunity to lay yours out.

The Business Façade Improvement Program provides funding to property and business owners located in SLRD Electoral Areas A and B to renovate, restore or redesign commercial building facades and storefronts. The program is intented to assist communities within SLRD Areas A and B in creating diversified, resilient and sustainable local economies. Funding for the program is provided through Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Program Overview:

  • The SLRD will provide a rebate of up to 50% of the cost of eligible improvements, up to a maximum of $5,000 per building/project.
  • Projects must have a minimum total cost of $1,000. 
  • Each building / business is eligible for a one-time grant only. 
  • Applicants must match the grant contribution.
  • In order to be eligible, the applicant must submit designs and costing for the project prior to the application deadline.  
  • A maximum of $20,000 is available in 2017.
  • Approved Projects must be completed by December 31, 2017. 
  • Funding cannot carry-over from one calendar year to the next.

Home-based businesses within Electoral Areas A and B may apply to the program for a rebate on way-finding signage (i.e. signage located on the business property that directs customers to the business). Signs are eligible for a maximum 50% reimbursement grant up to a maximum of $500 and must adhere to applicable sign bylaws (see SLRD Bylaw 681, 1998A bylaw to regulate signs in the SLRD).

Applications are due 30 April.

Download the Program's Design Guidelines and Application Form here. 

Quick Checklist: Are You Eligible?

All commercial properties found within SLRD Electoral Areas A and B are eligible for the program. 

You must be, either:

  • the property owner; or
  • the business owner (are paying for the improvements yourself, and you have the property owner's approval in writing); or 
  • a not-for-profit or enterprising Non-Profit organizations; or
  • a home-based businesses, applying for the way-finding signage rebate only. 

Please note:

  • All property taxes pertaining to the property must be fully paid and current;
  • There must be no outstanding building permits, stop work orders, or development permit condition requirements outstanding; and

Ineligible Applicants

The grant program does not apply to:

  • Residential homes located in the commercial area, unless the home is commercially-zoned and has a store front;  
  • Municipally owned buildings (even if they have business tenants);
  • start-up businesses not previously in operation.

Is Your Project Covered by the Grant? 

Eligible façade improvements include:

  • Exterior lighting (new but not replacement);
  • Exterior architectural features;
  • Exterior surfaces and details (decorative details, moldings, trims etc.);
  • Windows (only if part of larger enhancements, no stand-alone window replacement);
  • New siding;
  • Façade painting;
  • Entrances and doorways (if part of larger project; no stand-alone entrance/doorway replacement);
  • Awnings;
  • Signage (affixed to the building);
  • Way finding signage for home-based businesses (i.e. at the bottom of a driveway) within the specified area. Signage must conform to relevant SLRD sign regulations  (see SLRD Bylaw 681, 1998 – A bylaw to regulate signs in the SLRD).

Ineligible Façade Improvements

The following improvements are not funded by the Business Façade Improvement Program: 

  • Routine maintenance;
  • Structural repairs;
  • Roofs;
  • Non-permanent fixtures (benches, planters, patios, patio heaters etc.);
  • Landscaping;
  • Paving;
  • Fencing;
  • Wheelchair ramps;
  • Interior / internal improvements;
  • Any improvements not visible from the public right of way;
  • Construction of additions, accessory buildings or new buildings;
  • Any improvements started prior to application approval; and
  • Any improvements deemed inconsistent with redevelopment purposes and design guidelines.

Eligible Costs / Expenses

  • Direct project labour costs;
  • Design, architectural or engineering fees (related to facade only);
  • Contractor fees;
  • Rental of tools and equipment; and
  • Project-related materials and supplies.

The following costs will NOT be covered by the grant: 

  • Staff wages and/or benefits;
  • Purchase of construction tools or equipment;
  • Utilities (hydro, gas etc.);
  • Shipping costs;
  • GST/PST;
  • Duties;
  • Permit fees;
  • Expenses related to improvements to the building façade not visible from the public right of way; and
  • Façade improvements expenses started prior to application approval.

About the Business Façade Improvement Program

An initiative of Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Business Façade Improvement program provides annual funding to municipalities and regional districts to enhance economic development by encouraging private sector investment in businesses façade improvements.

Improving the attractiveness of the community, through freshening the appearance of commercial building facades, increases community pride, economic resilience, tourism opportunities and injects value into the local economy. 

For the first time in 2017, the SLRD has secured $20,000 in funding to encourage businesses, owners and commercial tenants in Electoral Area A (the Upper Bridge River Valley), Electoral Area B, and the communities of the Upper St’at’imc territory, to invest in business façade improvements.

Interested? 

Download the SLRD Business Façade Improvement Program Guidelines and Application Form.  

 

Applications, which must include completed designs of the facade improvement plan, can be submitted by email, mail or in person to:

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Business Façade Improvement Program
ATTN: Jeannette Nadon, Communications & Grants Coordinator
By Email: jnadon@slrd.bc.ca
By Mail: PO Box 219, Pemberton, BC  V0N 2L0
In person: 1350 Aster Street, Pemberton, BC

An overview of the process

  1. Contact the SLRD to see if the building qualifies for the Façade Improvement program, discuss your project and obtain the Program Guide and Application.
  2. Submit a complete application with designs by April 30 2017.
  3. SLRD staff will review application to ensure it meets the Design Guidelines and the Façade Improvement Guidelines.
  4. Eligible applications will be forwarded to the SLRD Selection Committee. Successful applicants will be asked to sign a Partnering Agreement.
  5. Applicant must apply for permits and complete renovations.
  6. Applicant provides verification of expenses.
  7. Applicant provides Certificate of Completion, before and after photos, by December 31 2017.
  8. Applicant secures final inspection, if needed.
  9. SLRD staff authorise reimbursement, if agreement fulfilled.
  10. Applicant receives cheque.

Are you operating in the District of Lillooet?

The District of Lillooet successfully distributed $55,000 of NDIT Business Façade funding to local businesses in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and they are accepting applications for the 2017 program until March 31, 2017.

The District is accepting applications as of January 20, 2017. First round of applications will be reviewed February 3, 2017. Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis, and evaluated on ranked criteria (as per the application document) by a Project Review Committee consisting of: one council member, one staff member and one Chamber of Commerce member.

Approved Projects must be completed by September 2017.  Funding can not be carried over from one calendar year to the next.

District of Lillooet businesses can apply for the 2017 intake, here.