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DOWNTOWN WILKESBORO GRANT PROGRAM
The Town of Wilkesboro, as part of the North Carolina Small Town Main Street Program, sets aside annual funding to stimulate investment and re-investment in and around Historic Downtown Wilkesboro. The funding described in the Grant Program Guidelines is focused on restoration and preservation projects. To be eligible for funding, properties must be located within the Historic Downtown Wilkesboro and/or Central Business Districts.
Architectural Design Services are available to encourage good design that meets current building code before a project begins. It can either be used to capitalize on the rehabilitation of existing properties and/or the introduction of a new building design that is appropriate to the historic character of the district. The Town of Wilkesboro highly encourages property owners to seek architectural design services before beginning a façade or capital improvement project. The NC Main Street Center offers design services free of charge to Main Street communities. These services are competitive and dependent upon the current workload. Please contact town staff to explore options for architectural services as well as Main Street Center design services.
The Façade Improvement component of the program is designed to encourage improvements to the exterior façades of buildings. This incentive-based measure will spur, encourage, and provide an economic inducement for restoration and preservation of building facades in order to provide more aesthetically appealing Main Street storefronts and associated streetscapes.
The Capital Improvement component is designated for improvements that would enhance the functionality of the building. These improvements include, but are not limited to roof repair or replacement, electrical work including upgrading HVAC, equipment repairs and replacement, energy efficiency upgrades, improving restroom facilities, flooring, and structural repairs.
The Town of Wilkesboro and the Wilkesboro Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to announce the creation of a new downtown grant category for Sign Projects. In response to the challenging economic times that we face and in preparation for updates to the town’s sign ordinance, this grant opportunity will allow businesses to apply for up to $3,000 in funding for sign fabrication, window decals, lighting, brackets, and other related expenses. For more details about this special grant category, please see the Historic Downtown Wilkesboro Grant Program Guidelines.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Property and/or business owners located in Historic Downtown Wilkesboro and the Central Business District are eligible for grants described in this document. Either the property owner or the business tenant of a building may submit an application. An applicant may request up to $7,000 per grant component (Façade, Capital, & Architectural Services) in a single application. Applications that combine components and exceed $10,000 are subject to Town Council review and approval. On a case-by-case basis, applications for architectural services or façade improvements to residential properties will be reviewed by the Town Council. These residential properties must have a substantial impact on downtown streetscapes. No capital improvement grants will be awarded to single-family residential properties.
REQUIRED RETURN ON INVESTMENT RATIO
An application must include a scope of work that encompasses all improvements anticipated during the project, not just those covered by the grant request. The inclusion of all work will enhance the project’s return on investment and in turn make the application more competitive and favorable during the review process. An investment ratio of at least 2:1 is required. Properties along secondary streets, not located on Main Street, are required to show at least a 3:1 investment ratio.
QUARTERLY REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS
The Grant Review Committee will review applications during the following months: February, May, August, and November. It is the discretion of the committee to approve multiple applications at any given time as long as grant funds remain for the current fiscal year.