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Storefront Improvement Program $10,000 Grant for Businesses

Visual presentation is an important aspect of marketing and gaining customer loyalty.

The exterior appearance of a building is the initial point of interaction between the business operating within and a potential customer. Studies have shown that thoughtful design improvements can often lead to greater sales for a business. The economic vitality as well as the aesthetic quality of each business enterprise is important, and both are linked in part to the success of surrounding commercial establishments. The physical character of Grafton contributes greatly to the overall image of the community for its residents, customers and visitors.

The intent of Grafton’s Storefront Rehab program is to:

  • enhance, protect and promote Grafton’s historic character and unique identity
  • renovate the exterior facades of deteriorating commercial buildings,
  • improve the appearance of individual building storefronts including signs and awnings or canopies as well as the overall look of the area, and
  • leverage private improvements while making revitalization affordable, creative and community-based.


Program Summary

Interested property owners may apply for a grant of up to 50% of their investment in rehabilitating a building façade, not to exceed $10,000. The grant will be disbursed upon project completion when receipts for the approved project is confirmed. Any building owner or store proprietor/tenant with lease authority or authorization from the owner may apply for funding. Tenants must have a minimum of two years remaining on their lease.


Application and Approval Process


  1. Submit completed applications to the Community Development Director for preliminary review to assure that all necessary information is provided.
  2. Applications will be reviewed by the Grafton City Building Official to ensure proposed improvements meet applicable building code and building design standards.
  3. Consideration of all applications will be by the Grafton Economic Development Committee. Applicants will be notified of the meeting and asked to attend to present their project proposal. The Grafton Economic Development Committee will review projects and award matching funds in the form of forgivable loans on a competitive basis using the following criteria:
  • Use of property and rehabilitation plan is consistent with published City of Grafton Comprehensive Plan.
  • Comprehensive renovation project eliminates all signs of blight/deterioration from affected façade.
  • Project is ready to proceed in timely fashion (completed within 12 months from application deadline).


Other contributing factors

  • Preservation of historic properties
  • Current condition of property
  • Ownership history
  • Size of the property
  • Amount of private funds in the project
  • Utilization of other incentives (i.e., Renaissance Zone, Historic Tax Credits)


Qualifying improvements must be to areas visible from the public right of way and include:

  • Awnings and canopies
  • Lighting
  • Paint
  • Removal/replacement of inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes or materials
  • Reconfiguring entrances
  • Door/window replacement or repair
  • Public-facing signs detached and attached to the building (new, repairs, replacements, removal)
  • Sides of buildings if exposed to a street or alleyway

Note: Bids or official estimates from licensed commercial contractors or other providers of needed services and materials are required.

  1. Work started prior to approval will not be considered for cost share. Before and after pictures required.
      5. Reimbursement will be based on actual invoices and proof of payment for completed work. Quotes/bids must be provided if                  services and/or materials can be sourced locally.

      6. Building permit is Required.