Find out how the grants are awarded, the payment process, and what documentation will be required to prove the up-fit project is complete for Building Up-fit Grant awardees.
Do all applications get funded?
Typically, there are more requests than funding can cover. This means that some applications and projects don’t make it into the grant program.
How many awards do the City of Raleigh give out, and when?
The City has budgeted $125,000 in grant funding per quarter, for the current fiscal year. This is usually enough to fund between 5-7 grant awards per quarter.
How do you decide who gets the grant awards?
We make every attempt to vet applications fairly and objectively. A points-based scoring system is used to help us rank overall economic development potential. This point system is defined in our program brochure. We also include a formal cross-departmental Committee Review process. This allows for diverse perspectives and expertise, and consensus for each qualified application. Departments represented include Planning & Development, Inspections, Urban Design, Sustainability, and Economic Development & Innovation.
How will I know the final amount of my grant?
This is a two-step process:
Step 1 – When you apply: Documented cost estimates for your project are used to determine your grant award. As a matching grant, your grant award will be half (50%) of your qualified cost estimate. This means you can receive up to $15,000, or up to $25,000 if you are in Raleigh’s Priority Area for Economic Development.
Step 2 – After you complete your project: Grant calculations are updated using your actual paid qualified expense, to determine your final grant amount. Your final grant amount will be half (50%) of your final qualified expense, up to the amount of your original grant award.
Qualified and Unqualified Expenses
How do you figure out my final actual qualified expense?
You will need to provide proof of payment documentation (invoices, receipts, etc.) for your project. Keep all invoices/receipts because documentation will is required. There will also be a brief on-site inspection to verify the work done.
What counts as a qualified expense?
Qualified expenses include capital improvements within the scope of your original application.
Are there exclusions that are not qualified expenses?
Yes. Examples of excluded expenses include contractor profit margins, taxes, interest, permit fees, architect fees, engineer fees, janitorial fees, equipment rentals. Other overhead expenses that do not directly go into the building up-fit capital investment are also not qualified. Project costs for work that was not included in the original application are also excluded from grant calculations. For example, if the original work did not include any plumbing, then any new plumbing project would be excluded from the qualified expense.
Payments and Amounts
How soon can I expect my payment?
After you notify City Staff that your project has completed, you will be set up in our system for Vendor Registration, Contract, Purchase Order, and Invoice. Payments are made on a Net 30-day basis. This entire process involves multiple approval steps. You should plan on receiving your grant payment at least 6-8 weeks after project completion.
How much money can I receive?
The grant can reimburse you for up to half (50%) of qualified building up-fit expenses. An upper limit of $15,000 or $25,000 if your commercial property located inside the City’s Priority Area for Economic Development. For example, if you have a $30,000 project, this grant could reimburse you for up to $15,000 after you complete construction.
How can I tell if my business is located inside the Priority Area for Economic Development?
You can refer to the Priority Area for Economic Development is the Green area on our web page.
Do I receive the Grant money before I start my project?
No. This grant is a matching reimbursement program. That means you will need to complete your project first, before you receive any grant funds. After you complete construction, you’ll need to notify City staff. At that time, City staff will get the review and payment process started to determine the final amount of your grant.
Is there a minimum grant amount?
Yes. The minimum grant award is $5,000. Since this is a shared-match program, this means you must be prepared to complete a project that will cost at least $10,000. (In this example, you would receive your $5,000 reimbursement after you complete your $10,000 project).