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Business Improvement Grants

Business Assistance Grant Program Guidelines and Criteria 2018 PDF

Business Improvement Grant Application

ROSENBERG BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT GRANT PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Section 1. Sponsor
Rosenberg Development Corporation (RDC).

Section 2. Purpose
The purpose of this Program is to enhance the economic vitality of the City of Rosenberg by encouraging visually appealing physical improvements to local business establishments.

Section 3. Grant Type
Grants provided are reimbursement grants, such grants being a cash match for funds disbursed by an Applicant, and are in amounts not to exceed those provided under Section 6, “Type of Grants” below. In-kind contributions, or other grant funds, may not be used by an applicant for matching funds. Only Applicant’s cash expenditures may be used as a grant match.

Section 4. Funding Cycle
Funding cycles shall be October 1st through September 30th. For each funding cycle, the RDC shall designate an amount of funding for that cycle. Upon depletion of those funds, the RDC will be under no obligation to fund additional grants. Likewise, the RDC is under no obligation to establish future cycles.

Section 5. Eligibility
A. Any new or existing business facility physically located within the Rosenberg City Limits.
B. Business facilities also serving as a residence are not eligible.
C. Business facilities and/or properties which have outstanding financial obligations to the City of Rosenberg, including but not limited to liens, court fines, delinquent City utility bills, or delinquent taxes are not eligible.
D. Business facilities and/or property owners which have an ongoing lawsuit or are in any way parties to litigation against the City of Rosenberg or the RDC are not eligible.

Section 6. Type of Grants
Up to 50 percent matching grant with a maximum of $10,000 in each of the following categories:
A. FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT:
Improvements to storefronts, including, but not limited to, items such as painting, reconstruction, and remodeling.
Up to a 50% matching grant with maximum of $10,000.
B. SIGN IMPROVEMENTS:
New signs, and renovation or removal of existing signs.
Up to a 50% matching grant with a maximum of $10,000.
C. PROPERTY IMPROVEMENT:
Items such as landscaping (if irrigated and maintained or warranted for one year), lighting, fencing, sidewalk and driveway improvements, parking lot improvements.
Up to a 50% matching grant with a maximum of $10,000.
D. DEMOLITION:
Demolition of abandoned signs and structures.
Up to a 50% matching grant with a maximum of $10,000.

Section 7. Guidelines

A. Proof of ownership of an existing facility will be required of all applicants.
B. Eligible applicants may submit multiple applications during a grant funding cycle. However, an applicant is limited to receiving funding for only one (1) grant during a funding cycle. An applicant who receives grant funding must skip one grant funding cycle before applying for an additional grant.
C. Improvements shall be made in accordance with project drawings, specifications, and/or information provided in the application, such having been previously approved by the RDC. Failure to do so will render the Applicant ineligible to receive grant funding. Any modifications must first receive the written approval of the RDC or its designee. Failure to do so will likewise render the Applicant ineligible to receive grant funding.
D. Applicant is obligated to obtain all applicable permits and inspections related to the improvement project. Failure to do so will render the Applicant ineligible for grant funding.
E. The improvements, as presented in the application, must be completed in their entirety, unless otherwise approved by the RDC. Incomplete improvements will render the Applicant ineligible for grant funding.
F. Upon approval of a grant application, and during the implementation of the improvements, a representative or representatives of the RDC and City shall have the right of access to inspect the work in progress.
G. Improvements may not commence prior to having received written approval for a grant from the RDC.
H. In order to be eligible to receive the grant funding, improvements must be started within two (2) months of receiving grant approval from the RDC and must be completed within six (6) months of the funding approval.
I. All landscaping installed in the scope of the project must be irrigated and maintained or warrantied by the Applicant for minimum of one (1) year from the date of installation.
1. If landscaping is considered as part of the grant request, an underground irrigation system shall be employed and said landscaping shall be irrigated and maintained. Trees, plants, shrubs, or groundcover, as approved in the grant proposal, shall be replaced if they become diseased, damaged, or die.
J. All applications must contain a cost estimate (bid) from a minimum of two (2) qualified contractors or suppliers.
K. Labor provided by the Applicant or his/her employees may not be included in the cost estimate of the project and is not reimbursable through this Program.

Section 8. Application & Approval
A. Applications must be made on a form provided by the RDC, and may be obtained in the Economic Development Department at the Rosenberg Civic Center, 3825 Hwy 36S, at the Rosenberg City Hall, 2110 4th Street, Rosenberg, Texas 77471, or on the City website at www.rosenbergtx.gov.
B. Applications will be considered on a monthly basis and must be submitted by the 15th day of the month in order to be considered the following month.
C. Monthly consideration of applications may be delayed in the event the RDC elects for any reason not to consider grant applications for any particular month.
D. One (1) original and one (1) copy of an application must be submitted.
E. The RDC reserves the right to utilize whatever outside resources it deems necessary for assistance in its decision-making process.
F. Applicants must score a minimum of sixty (60) points on the evaluation guidelines to be eligible for approval.
G. Applicants will be notified in writing of the RDC’s approval or disapproval of an application.
H. The RDC may award Applicant a grant with certain provisions, conditions, or other requirements as it may from time to time deem appropriate.
I. The RDC Board reserves unto itself the absolute right of discretion in deciding whether or not to approve a grant relative to this application. The Applicant accepts that all decisions relating to the award of grant funds involves subjective judgments on the part of the decision-making entity related to the aesthetics of the proposed project and the granting of award funds for said project.
J. The RDC reserves the right to waive any requirement(s) herein contained, and/or add any requirements(s) it deems appropriate in making its determination of approval or disapproval of a grant(s) application.
K. Application shall include photos of the existing conditions to be improved.

Section 9. Evaluation Criteria Standards

The following factors shall be considered in determining whether or not to award a grant. Grant applications must score a minimum of sixty (60) points to be considered for funding. A score of sixty (60) or more points does not guarantee funding. All funding is contingent on remaining funds availability.
The evaluation matrix is a guide to assist the RDC in the evaluation process. The business Applicant does not need to address each criterion in the impact standard to receive the total number of allotted points. The criteria within each impact standard are examples of the types of criteria the RDC may consider:

Visual Impact
 Improvement in the attractiveness of the location and the level of blight or deterioration removed;
 Paint color/sign chosen are tasteful and consistent with surrounding businesses;
 Paint chips/sign materials/landscaping materials are submitted with application and final project reflects what was submitted and approved;
 Level of improvements’ impact on overall appearance of facility.
 Productive life of improvements.
Possible Points: 50
Awarded Points:

Economic Impact
 Amount of additional funding expended by business;
 Appropriateness of business to overall economic development in the surrounding neighborhood;
 Traffic level of roadways adjacent to improvement;
 Mitigation of health and safety issues;
 Reuse of vacant or underutilized property.
Possible Points: 30
Awarded Points:

Historical/Community Impact
 Level of historical significance of building/area being improved;
 Level of value added to the community by the business;
 Level of interest/desire for business in the community;
 Level of attention to historical architecture (if applicable).
Possible Points: 20
Awarded Points:

Section 10. Funding
A. Funding will only be provided on a reimbursement basis upon the completion of the project in accordance with Section 7 above and following an on-site inspection of the improvements.
B. The RDC and City shall be granted the right to inspect the improvement work in progress and upon completion.
C. Applicant shall provide the RDC with written notification of project completion. Such notification shall include a letter signed by the Applicant stating that all improvements have been completed in accordance with the application and/or approved modifications, and that full payment has been made for all labor and materials involved in the project. Also included in such notification shall be such documents as, but not limited to, paid receipts for materials and labor, permits, inspection reports, project photographs, or any other items the RDC may reasonably deem necessary for determining the successful completion of the project.
D. Upon receipt of a notification of completion, an on-site inspection shall be made by a representative or representatives of the RDC and/or City to confirm completion in accordance with the application and/or approved modifications, such inspection shall not be considered in any way as a reflection of the City’s approval on the quality, safety, or reliability of the improvements, such being the sole responsibility of Applicant.
E. Following the on-site inspection, the RDC staff shall place on the next regular RDC Board meeting agenda an item for the report and written statement testifying either to (1) compliant project completion, or (2) non-compliant project completion. In the event of a “non-compliant report”, the RDC Board will review the findings, and if in agreement with the report, a letter shall be issued to the Applicant stating the area/areas of non-compliance. The project shall be subject to re-inspection to confirm the successful completion of the project. Failure to correct the area/areas of non-compliance within thirty (30) days of the date of the “non-compliant letter” shall be cause for cancellation of the grant.
F. At the regular meeting at which a “compliant” inspection report is provided, a motion to authorize funding will be considered. If approved, issuance of payment shall take place within ten (10) days of the funding authorization.
G. In order to receive approval of a reimbursement, all projects should be completed within six (6) months of the grant application approval.
H. Grantee shall maintain ownership of the property for five (5) years immediately following the submission of the Report. If this requirement is not met the GRANTEE shall reimburse RDC the Funds as provided:
i. Property sold within 2 years = reimburse 100%
ii. Property sold within 3 years = reimburse 75%
iii. Property sold within 4 years = reimburse 50%
iv. Property sold within 5 years = reimburse 25%

Section 11. Review Committee
The Business Improvement Grant Review Committee will review and score all applications. Said Review Committee will be comprised of The City’s Economic Development Director, the City’s Assistant Economic Development Director and a representative from the City’s Community Development Department.
Section 12. Amendment
The RDC reserves unto itself the right to amend these Guidelines and Criteria as it may from time to time find desirable.
Section 13. Termination
The grant will automatically terminate if the project is not completed within six (6) months of RDC approval of the grant application.

Section 14. Notice
A. THE PROVISION OR DELIVERY OF THESE GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA TO AN INTERESTED PARTY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER OF AN IMPROVEMENT GRANT TO THAT PARTY.
B. THE ADOPTION OF THESE GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA DOES NOT LIMIT THE DISCRETION OF THE RDC TO DECIDE WHETHER TO PROVIDE OR NOT PROVIDE A GRANT TO AN APPLICANT, WHICH ABSOLUTE RIGHT OF DISCRETION THE RDC RESERVES UNTO ITSELF, WHETHER OR NOT SUCH DISCRETION MAY BE DEEMED ARBITRARY OR WITHOUT BASIS IN FACT.
C. THE ADOPTION OF THESE GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA DOES NOT CREATE ANY PROPERTY, CONTRACT, OR OTHER LEGAL RIGHTS IN ANY PERSON TO HAVE THE RDC PROVIDE GRANT FUNDING.
D. THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF TEXAS SHALL GOVERN THE INTERPRETATION, VALIDITY, PERFORMANCE, AND ENFORCEMENT OF THIS BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM. IF ANY PROVISION OF THIS PROGRAM SHALL BE HELD TO BE INVAILD OR UNENFORCEABLE, THE VALIDITY AND ENFORCEABILITY OF THE REMAINING PROVISIONS OF THIS PROGRAM SHALL NOT BE AFFECTED THEREBY.
E. THE RDC, THE CITY, ITS EMPLOYEES, AND ITS AGENTS, DO NOT ATTEST TO THE QUALITY, SAFETY, OR CONSTRUCTION OF A PROJECT ELIGIBLE FOR, OR RECEIVING GRANT FUNDING. THEREFORE, THE CITY, ITS EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS SHALL BE HELD HARMLESS BY THE APPLICANT/APPLICANTS FOR ANY AND ALL DAMAGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE PLANNING, CONSTRUCTION, AND SUBSEQUENT EXISTENCE OF ANY PROJECT WHOSE APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED, OR HAS RECEIVED ACTUAL GRANT FUNDING.