Business Improvement Grant

CIC logo

Overview


The Business Improvement Program was created to award funds to eligible Township businesses in order to help owners improve the exterior aesthetics or increase the size of their business. The Business Improvement Program, administered by the township’s Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), was designed to focus on the Township’s business community by achieving these primary goals:

  • Promoting and leveraging community resources to revitalize and reinvest in Township businesses.
  • Encouraging partnerships between the Township and local businesses around projects that help to improve the economic health and vibrancy of our business communities.
The Business Improvement Grant Program provides funding only to Eligible Businesses or Business Associations located within Springfield Township.



Eligible Businesses


Eligible Businesses are businesses that are completely located or have facilities within Springfield Township. A business is eligible to apply when all of the following apply:

  •  Is established and has been active at least 6 months prior to application;
  • The business is located within the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) or Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ); and
  • Is located and operated legally within a commercially zoned area of Springfield Township; and
Since the Community Improvement Corporation desires to improve neighborhoods and business districts, this program is designed to support that purpose. Realizing that there are many groups that can and do contribute to improving the quality of life in business areas, businesses are encouraged to partner with other groups on projects that benefit the community as a whole and not specific only to their business. The business making the application must be the lead entity in project planning and implementation.

Business Associations


Business associations are organized groups of businesses/business owners within a specific geographical area such as a neighborhood or business corridor that collaborates with other stakeholders to address economic development concerns and/or improve the economic vitality of the community. A business association with a mission of contributing to the improvement in the quality of life in and around Township neighborhoods is eligible to apply when all of the following apply:

  •  Is established and has been active at least 6 months prior to application;
  •  Has duly elected board officers and established by-laws or governing documents;
  • Holds regular meetings and maintains records and/or board minutes; and
  •  At least 75% of association members operate businesses within the identified neighborhood or business corridor.

Ineligible Organizations


Groups that are not eligible to apply include schools, county-wide organizations, religious institutions and organizations, political groups and governmental agencies. Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, creed, or disability are also ineligible.


Eligible Projects


Request for funds should be based on costs associated with implementation of a single project as opposed to support for operational expenses such as salaries, rent, utility bills, property management services or ongoing operational expenses. Eligible projects are those that:

  • Make improvements and/or repairs, or improve the aesthetics to existing facilities; or
  • Create new opportunities for economic growth or add jobs; or
  • Allow the business to remain in Springfield Township; or
  • Address economic development needs of the neighborhood or business corridorand clearly benefits the area; or
  • Make aesthetic neighborhood improvements such as landscaping, entrance signage, or lighting; and
A minimum of 35% matching funding from the eligible business/businesses association are required.  Projects that conflict with township policy will not be awarded.


Additional consideration will be given to projects whose applicants live in Springfield Township. Applicants may request funding for multiple projects meeting the above eligibility requirements. Applicants may not request funding for the same project in consecutive years, unless otherwise granted by the CIC. The continued administering of the Program by the Township CIC is based on funding availability. Signage and landscaping projects will be eligible to receive a maximum of $5,000 in grant funds. Projects that conflict with township policy will not be awarded.



Process and Timeline


The Business Improvement Grant Program is offered once a year.
The 2018 application deadline is: June 29, 2018

Link to Application Located in Top Right Corner of This Web Page.


The Business Improvement Program involves a two-tiered approval process. Review, approval and notification may take up to 60 days.

Phase I – Initial Review


After receiving the applications, Community Improvement Corporation Grant Review Committee will:
  • Verify business and project eligibility;
  • Ensure busdiness is willing and able to provide required 35% matching funds;
  • Review applications for clarity and completeness and follow up with applicants if necessary; and
  • Present the applications to the CIC Board of Directors for formal review

Phase II – Formal Review and Selection


  • The CIC Board of Directors will evaluate applications based on selection criteria below and determine approval or denial
  • Staff will notify applicants of results
  • Approved grantees attend orientation and sign contracts
  • Organizations begin project activity (only after award letter is signed by CIC Director)

Disbursement of Funds


Funds are available after the signed award letter is received by the applicant. Organizations must submit original invoices and/or receipts for expenditures to the Community Improvement Corporation for processing. Checks will be made payable directly to the vendor or the grantee in the case of reimbursements. Please allow at least 10 business days for processing fund requests. The CIC is contracting solely with the grantee organization. Therefore, any issues or discrepancies that may result from the hiring of contractors or private vendors must be resolved by the grantee.

Scoring Criteria

Criteria Possible Points
Matching Funds (35% Matching Funds Required)
•    The applicant is proposing a match beyond the required amount and funds are ready to be expended.

10
Aesthetic Improvement
•    Project improves the exterior appearance of the business
10
Project Impact / Need
•    Proposed improvement expands business and creates jobs (20)
•    Enables business to remain in Township (20)
•    Business is locally owned and operated (10)


50
Project Design/Planning
•    Well-planned, cost-effective, and ready to implement; shows a clear vision for sustaining the project
      and resulting improvements. (15)
•    Budget is reasonable and well documented (10)
•    Proposed project is an innovative response to a recognized issue (5)

30
TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS
100
*Minimum score of 70 points required to receive funding pending CIC review and funding availability.